Moses Malone had season highs of 32 points and 23 rebounds as the 76ers defeated the Utah Jazz, 126-113, last night in Philadelphia. The victory, the third straight for the 76ers, enabled them to take a half-game lead over Boston in the Atlantic Division.
Darrell Griffith scored 37 points for Utah, which played without Adrian Dantley, its leading scorer. He had a wrist injury. Utah has not won at the Spectrum since Oct. 22, 1977.
Philadelphia never trailed after Andrew Toney made a 10-foot jumper at 6:48 in the first period for an 18-17 lead.
The 76ers led, 39-27, after the first quarter, despite 14 points by Griffith. Toney had 10 for the 76ers and finished the game with 30 points. Philadelphia had its biggest lead when Russ Schoene's 10-foot jumper made it 66-38 with 3:58 left in the second period.
With Malone scoring 14 points, Philadelphia maintained a big lead throughout the third quarter, but the Jazz within 101-91 with 8:09 left. Toney then scored seven straight points to ensure the victory, the seventh in eight games for the 76ers.
Philadelphia's Franklin Edwards had 12 assists as a replacement for point guard Maurice Cheeks, who had a groin injury.
For Philadelphia, Julius Erving had 21 points. Utah's Rickey Green scored 26 and Jeff Wilkins 24, both season highs.