After a month of having to play home games at Convention Hall, the Warriors finally returned to the Philadelphia Arena to take on the hot Boston Celtics. Winners of four of their last five games, the Celtics still had a long way to go to overcome their horrible start. At 10-22 they were well out of the division race, but were at least within shouting distance of the Toronto Huskies in their attempt to escape the cellar. Despite their poor overall record, the Celtics were 2-1 against the Warriors and in their first meeting on November 6, the Boston defense held Joe Fulks to just six points, a season low. Celtics coach Honey Russell revealed that he had a new strategy to try against Fulks in this contest. The Warriors, meanwhile, were doing their best to stay afloat, having won just two of their last seven, both wins coming against the Huskies, and were hoping five days of rest since their last game would give them the fresh legs they needed. To aid their cause, they hoped to have Howie Dallmar in the lineup at some point. The fears that he had broken his ankle in the loss to the Stags were unfounded, but the limb was still sore and he wasn’t expected to start.
When the game got underway before a crowd of 5,848, it turned out that Russell’s anti-Fulks strategy was the same as everyone else’s in the league: foul him as often as possible. The strategy did diminish Jumping Joe’s output somewhat, but the most noticeable scoring deficit belonged to the Celtics. Jerry Kelly scored the only Boston bucket in the second quarter and at halftime Philadelphia led by a count of 31-13. While Fulks was being manhandled early on, George Senesky and Angelo Musi took up the slack, with Senesky hitting on four of his first five shots.
The Warriors kept the heat on in the third quarter and at the eight minute mark in the final stanza, the Celtics, trailing 50-26, looked to be in danger of breaking the BAA low mark of 33 points in a game, a finishing kick made the final score 59-43, Warriors.
Fulks ended up with 22 points, just under his season scoring average, but that was still good enough for the game’s high mark. Improving to 16-14, the Warriors were still 8.5 games behind Washington in the East, but were now just a game behind the slumping Knicks for second place.
January 21, 1947
BAA Eastern Division standings at the end of the day (courtesy ShrpSports):
Washington 25-6 .806
New York 17-13 .567 7 1/2
Philadelphia 16-14 .533 8 1/2
Providence 13-16 .448 11
Toronto 12-19 .387 13
Boston 10-23 .303 16