HARTFORD, Conn. -- This was supposed to be a pleasurable night for Michael Adams. But his homecoming turned painful with seven seconds left in the first half last night.
Adams, playing in front of dozens of family and friends at the Hartford Civic Center, dislocated the middle finger of his left hand and had to have it reset after he fell while making a layup with seven seconds left in the first half.
It hurt him, and the Washington Bullets felt it even more.
The Bullets made a late run, but couldn't get over the hump without Adams' leadership and quickness, and dropped a 121-108 decision to the Boston Celtics.
Dunbar's Reggie Lewis led the Celtics with 37 points on 17-of-24 shooting, Larry Bird had 18 and Robert Parish 16. Pervis Ellison led the Bullets with 31 and Adams had 10.
"It was a little scary," Adams said. "Just looking at [the finger] made me go into shock. I was thinking of Joe Theismann's leg. But those things happen.
"I'm having a good year, so it's a little disappointing. You want to keep it going."
Adams was given local anesthesia by Celtics trainer Arnie Schellier to put the finger back in. He will have it X-rayed today. The Bullets will decide how much time he will miss then.
The Bullets missed Adams' quickness in their pressure defense, which the Celtics picked apart at key junctures. They also missed his outside shooting, which failed them in the final minutes after they had cut the Celtics' lead to 113-107 with 3:01 left.
Washington (5-9) had two chances to cut the lead to five, but missed both and Bird's three-pointer with 1:30 left sealed the Celtics' victory.
"We didn't get to play the pace we really wanted," Bullets coach Wes Unseld said. "They got open shots and they were hitting. We were hanging close, but we never got control."
Mostly because of Lewis. With Bird struggling, the fifth-year man took control with his outside shot and quick moves to the basket.
"Larry got off to a bad start and the pressure was on me to step up in the first half," Lewis said. "Parish and Bird are superstars, they always are going to come through at the end."
"Reggie was really on tonight," Washington's David Wingate said. "I can really see the difference in his game because I've known him since high school. He's one of the premiere two guards right now."