Dennis Johnson scored 22 points and Larry Bird 21 last night to lift the Boston Celtics to a 110-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the first meeting of the NBA finalists since June, when the Lakers won the NBA title in six games.
The triumph improved Boston's home record to 18-1. It was the Lakers' eighth loss, tying the Celtics for the fewest in the NBA.
The Celtics, who already led by 88-75, started the fourth quarter with a 14-4 spurt, including five points from reserve Bill Walton.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the Lakers with 17 points. Nuggets 137, Nets 124
In Denver, NBA scoring leader Alex English scored 43 points, the sixth time this season he has topped 40, and Calvin Natt had a season-high 30 points for the Nuggets.
Mickey Johnson led New Jersey with 25 points. Hawks 131, Warriors 100
In Atlanta, Dominique Wilkins scored 25 points and Randy Wittman 23 to power the Hawks, who shot 67.5 percent from the field en route to their ninth victory in 11 games. Joe Barry Carroll led the Warriors with 16 points. Clippers 131, Mavericks 118
In Dallas, Marques Johnson scored 22 points and Kurt Nimphius 21 to spark Los Angeles, which won its third straight and sixth on the road in 24 games. Dallas was led by Derek Harper with 26 points. Pistons 107, Cavaliers 104
Kelly Tripucka scored 24 points, including a three-point play that broke a 102-102 tie with 26 seconds to play, as Detroit ended a six-game road losing streak. Roy Hinson led Cleveland with 30 points.