Kevin McHale scored 33 points and Larry Bird 24 last night in Boston as the Celtics beat Denver, 123-100, boosting their home record to 17-1 and ending the Nuggets' five-game National Basketball Association winning streak.
Danny Ainge, held to one basket in the first half, helped break open a close game by scoring six of his 16 points in a decisive 14-0 run that gave the Celtics an 85-71 lead early in the third quarter.
"We disintegrated," said Denver Coach Doug Moe. "We've done it against other teams not as good as Boston. It happens."
Alex English, the NBA scoring leader with a 29.7 average, led Denver with 22 points.
*Nets 123, 76ers 89: Otis Birdsong scored 27 points as visiting New Jersey ended Philadelphia's five-game winning streak.
Darwin Cook had 15 assists for the Nets. Philadelphia was led by Maurice Cheeks with 17 points and eight assists.
*Trail Blazers 109, Pacers 104: Kiki Vandeweghe scored 31 points and Mychal Thompson had 22 for Portland in Indianapolis.
Clyde Drexler hit a free throw with 19 seconds to play and Steve Porter added two more with six seconds remaining to secure the victory for Portland.
Vern Fleming led Indiana with 24 points and forward Clark Kellogg, returning after missing 26 games because of knee surgery, scored 13 points, all in the fourth quarter.
*Knicks 116, Mavericks 112: Gerald Wilkins scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth period and Patrick Ewing had 25 points to lead New York in Dallas.
Rolando Blackman led Dallas with 29 points and Mark Aguirre had 22.
*Pistons 123, Bulls 115: In Pontiac, Mich., Isiah Thomas scored a game-high 28 points and Bill Laimbeer had 24 to lead Detroit over Chicago for only its second victory in 10 games.
George Gervin scored 27 points for the Bulls.
*Clippers 110, SuperSonics 103: Marques Johnson scored 20 points and rookie Benoit Benjamin scored seven of his season-high 15 points in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles held off visiting Seattle.
Seattle, which lost its sixth straight on the road, got 33 points from rookie Xavier McDaniel.
*Rockets 119, Spurs 113: Forward Ralph Sampson scored 30 points and John Lucas scored 28, including 12 in the fourth quarter, to lead Houston in San Antonio.
San Antonio guard Alvin Robertson scored 31 points.
The Spurs earlier in the day lost starting point guard Johnny Moore for the season. Moore, who has been ill since Dec. 26, was diagnosed as having a form of meningitis called desert fever, a rare disease. He might return for the 1986-87 season.
*Warriors 150, Jazz 104: Purvis Short scored 22 points, Joe Barry Carroll had 21 and Golden State Coach John Bach gave all his starters the fourth quarter off as the Warriors routed Utah in Oakland.
Substitute guard Terry Teagle scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 26 as Golden State registered its highest point total of the season.
Adrian Dantley led Utah with 16 points