Charles Barkley scored a career-high 31 points and cleared 19 rebounds to lead the 76ers over the Houston Rockets, 126-108, last night in Philadelphia.

Barkley, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound forward, scored most of his points from inside as he and 6-10 Moses Malone, who scored 24 points, outdueled 7-foot Akeem Olajuwon and 7-4 Ralph Sampson, both of whom fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

It was the 19th straight loss at the Spectrum for Houston, which last won in Philadelphia in January 1974.

The 76ers never trailed in the game and built a 48-32 lead on a layup by Bobby Jones with 7:48 left in the second quarter.

Houston closed to 86-76 on a layup by Lewis Lloyd with 3:45 left in the third quarter, but the 76ers then went on an 11-2 streak. Celtics 137, Mavericks 117

In Boston, Larry Bird scored 17 of his game-high 35 points in an 8 1/2-minute span of the fourth quarter as the Atlantic Division leaders continued their six-year mastery over the Mavericks.

Boston, which led by at least seven points throughout the last three quarters, is 11-0 against the Mavericks since they came into the league in 1980.

Boston, which posted its highest point total of the season and boosted its record to 21-5 after losing two of its previous three games, got 28 points from Kevin McHale, 20 from Danny Ainge and 18 from Dennis Johnson. Nets 113, Jazz 98

Otis Birdsong scored 24 points and Micheal Ray Richardson produced 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists as New Jersey beat Utah in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Nets, winning the fifth of their last six games, saw Utah rally from 26 points down in the third period to 101-94. Darryl Dawkins scored nine of his 18 points in the last 2:26 to keep New Jersey in control.

The Jazz rallied in the fourth quarter behind Adrian Dantley and Rickey Green, who each had 10 points in the period. Dantley led all scorers with 32 points. Lakers 107, Bucks 105

In Milwaukee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 31 points, including eight during a decisive fourth-quarter rally, as Los Angeles won its 22nd of 25 games.

Abdul-Jabbar made one of two free throws with four seconds left to make it 107-105. Milwaukee's Sidney Moncrief shot short at the buzzer.

Terry Cummings led Milwaukee with 23 points. James Worthy scored 22 points for Los Angeles, 10 in the fourth quarter. Clippers 103, Warriors 99

Cedric Maxwell scored six of his 16 points in the final minute to lead Los Angeles over visiting Golden State.

The Clippers, who won for just the fourth time in 21 games, had lost three straight. Marques Johnson led them with 22 points and Junior Bridgeman had a season-high 20.

Golden State trailed, 87-67, with 10:50 left, but Chris Mullin's two free throws nine minutes later tied it at 97. Maxwell then broke the tie with a layup. He later recovered a blocked shot by Norm Nixon and hit on a reverse layup.

Golden State, which lost for the 13th time in 14 road games, got 22 points from Purvis Short and a season-high 20 from Mullin