Robert Parish, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale dominated inside for Boston last night in Madison Square Garden and the Celtics defeated the New York Knicks, 97-83.

Parish, making all nine shots, had 22 points and 12 rebounds. Bird had 21 points and 12 rebounds and McHale 20 points. The Celtics held a 49-27 advantage in rebounding in winning their fifth straight.

Parish scored 12 points and Bird nine in the first quarter, but the Celtics led only 31-26 at the break despite outrebounding the Knicks, 17-6. Robinson kept his team close with 10 points in the first 7 1/2 minutes.

Boston was ahead, 53-47, at halftime as McHale scored 12 points in the second period, getting the Celtics' first eight that quarter.

"I got the ball near the basket a lot, which means I get good shots and get fouled," McHale said. "The Knicks play aggressive defense, but they double-team the ball so much that it's tough to box out your man when you don't really have a man. But that defense really works when it's clicking."

The Knicks never got closer than four points in the second half, although the Celtics went more than eight minutes without a field goal in the fourth period. The Celtics made seven free throws in that span and the Knicks got only eight points in closing to 87-80.