Moses Malone, in his debut with the Philadelphia 76ers, got 21 points and 17 rebounds to complement a game-high 33 points by Andrew Toney last night in a 104-89 season-opening victory over the Knicks in New York.
Although Malone and Julius Erving, who had 22 points, clinched the victory in the second half, it was Toney who led the 76ers to a 59-47 halftime lead. He scored 11 of his team's first 15 points and had 17 the first period. Malone got six of Philadelphia's last eight points of the half, which ended with it leading, 59-47.
"I don't have to score 30 to 36 points a game," said Malone. "I can go to the boards, unlike Houston where I had two and three guys on me all the time."
Malone held Bill Cartwright to nine points, and New York's other center, Marvin Webster, to four.
In the third quarter, Malone's two baskets and Erving's six straight points put the 76ers ahead, 75-64, with 3:54 left. The Knicks, led by Bernard King's 23 points in his New York debut, closed with nine straight points to make it 80-75 at period's end. But Toney, who made 11 of 15 shots and 11 of 11 free throws, and Malone scored nine of the 76ers' first 11 points of the last quarter, while the Knicks were getting just four.