Box Score Bank: Bird's home stretch


Box Score Bank: Bird's home stretch

For today's Box Score Bank let's go back exactly 20 years to March 27, 1992.

George H.W. Bush was in his fourth and final year of his presidency. White Man Can't Jump was No. 1 at the Box Office. Vanessa Williams' Save The Best For Last was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Avery Bradley was 16 months old.

And over at the Garden, the Celtics were beating up on the Pistons,

Final score: Celtics 106, Detroit 87

So what makes this game interesting, other than today's 20th anniversary?

Well, for one, it was Larry Bird's last career game against the Pistons. In fact, it was one of the last games Bird ever played.

He scored 21 points, grabbed eight boards and dished out seven assists on the night, then played two more regular season games before skipping the final eight with back and Achilles issues. He also missed Boston's entire first round sweep of the Pacers, and then played in only four of seven games as the C's were eliminated by Cleveland in the conference semis. As it turns out, this was the last time Bird ever scored more than 20 points in an NBA game.

That's pretty significant.

Anyay, You think back to this time in Bird's career and you see a guy who can barely walk. Of course he could still score. He could probably skill score today. But he was so much slower, so rigid out on the court. At times it was hard to watch.

Here are some highlights of him tearing up the Trailblazers during that last season. This game was a few weeks before the Pistons game above. This was 35-year-old Bird at his absolute best, but you can tell he was almost done.

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Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17


Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe the Cowboys will be OK without quarterback Tony Romo this time. The future of the Dallas running game with Ezekiel Elliott looks pretty good, too.

Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in fellow rookie Elliott's first 100-yard game, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without the injured Romo over three seasons before the fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia's Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals for a rookie in NFL history.

"Dak's handled every opportunity he's had right from the start really, really well," coach Jason Garrett said. "No different tonight."

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards - a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter - and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

"We haven't played a complete game," Fox said. "This week was the reverse of what we've had. We played very poorly in the first half."

Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries, including a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball while trying to work the clock with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter a week after he was benched because of two fumbles in a win over Washington.

"Made a lot of good runs tonight, a lot tough runs, a lot of NFL runs," Garrett said. "He's physically tough. He's mentally tough."

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.

Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.