Moses Malone scored 26 points as the Philadelphia 76ers, after a slow start, defeated the Houston Rockets, 127-98, last night for their 15th straight victory at the Spectrum.
The 76ers have the league's best record at 45-7 and lead idle Boston by six games in the Atlantic Division. They have won five in a row, 10 of 11 and 24 of 26. Houston (10-43), which has the worst record, is 2-24 on the road this season.
The Rockets led, 31-27, after the first period, and still were ahead by a point with 5:55 left in the first half. But the 76ers scored eight straight points to take the lead for good and the game became a rout.
Clemon Johnson, a 6-foot-10 forward-center acquired by the 76ers from Indiana this week, played impressively in a reserve role. He made five of six shots for 10 points in 14 second-half minutes.
Malone said, "They played well in the first half, but I wasn't concerned that we were down a few points. I felt sorry for their players. They worked hard."
Houston Coach Del Harris simply shrugged his shoulders and said:
"They're the best team in the league right now. They have so much firepower, especially with those new additions (Clemon and Reggie Johnson). When we got 15 and 17 down, we just didn't have enough to come back.