Moses Malone scored 26 points and got 19 rebounds to help the 76ers defeat Cleveland, 111-101, last night in Philadelphia and spoil the debut of new Cavaliers Coach George Karl.
The 76ers, who held a 13-point lead in the second quarter, trailed, 54-53, on a three-point play by rookie Melvin Turpin with 10:06 left in the third period. But they got the next seven points -- five by Julius Erving -- and held the Cavaliers without a field goal for more than three minutes.
Philadelphia extended its lead to 75-61 with 4:17 left in the period as Malone led an 11-2 rally, and held an 82-70 advantage at the end of the quarter. Two long jumpers by rookie Leon Wood led a run of seven straight points that gave the 76ers a 95-76 lead with 7:26 left.
The Cavaliers scored nine straight points later in the period to narrow the margin to 97-89 with 4:09 left, but Andrew Toney and Malone each got four points to increase the 76ers' lead.
Toney and Maurice Cheeks each scored 19 points for the 76ers. Rookie Ron Anderson, Cleveland's second-round draft pick, led all scorers with 27 points and Johnny Davis had 15.