Larry Bird scored a team-record 60 points last night to lead the Boston Celtics to a 126-115 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in New Orleans' Lakefront Arena.

He made 22 of 36 from the floor, including a three-pointer, and 15 of 16 foul shots. He scored the Celtics' last 16 points.

Kevin McHale had set the team record of 56 earlier this month. No one has scored more than 60 in the NBA this season, although New York's Bernard King got 60 Dec. 25.

"My teammates helped me out an awful lot," Bird said, "because they kept giving me the ball at the end of the game. I didn't think that I would like this gym, but I had a good feeling from the first quarter on, even though it was awfully hot."

"I don't think I've ever seen him shoot better," his coach, K.C. Jones said. "Toward the end of the game I was just like one of the fans. I just sat back and watched, and I had the best seat in the house. When he started hitting those shots from the outside . . . he's almost unstoppable."

Bird had only 23 points at halftime, then shot nine for nine in the third period when the Celtics surged ahead at 100-98.

Atlanta's Dominique Wilkins had 36 points.