Dennis Johnson scored eight of his 21 points and Robert Parish had eight of his 17 in the pivotal third quarter as the Boston Celtics defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 123-105, last night in Richfield, Ohio, to record their 12th consecutive National Basketball Association victory.
Kevin McHale had 19 points and Larry Bird 16 to help the Celtics raise their record to 62-13 and keep alive their hopes of equaling the best record in league history. The 1971-1972 champion Los Angeles Lakers hold the 69-13 regular-season record.
The Celtics have lost one game to each of 13 teams and are trying to become the first team in NBA history to go through a regular season without losing to any team twice.
Cleveland trailed by only 61-59 at halftime as World B. Free scored 24 of his 28 points.
Boston has defeated Cleveland four times in five meetings this year.
*Nets 111, Knicks 93: Kelvin Ransey scored all 16 of his points as visiting New Jersey broke open a close game by outscoring New York by 38-19 in the third quarter.
The Nets made 75 percent of their field goal attempts -- including seven for eight by Ransey -- in that period; the Knicks made 36 percent. New Jersey started the second half ahead by three points and finished in front, 87-65.
Otis Birdsong and Mike Gminski led New Jersey with 22 points apiece. Darrell Walker had 25 for the Knicks, who lost their fifth consecutive game and 24th in their last 28.
Earlier, the Nets announced they had signed Ray Williams, waived last Friday by the San Antonio Spurs. Williams, who also played with Atlanta this season, has competed in 41 games for the Spurs and Hawks, averaging 18.1 minutes, 7.7 points and 4.1 assists.
*Kings 109, Spurs 99: Mike Woodson scored 10 of his 21 points during a late-game streak to lead Sacramento in San Antonio. During that rally, the Kings stretched a one-point lead to 14.
The loss tarnished Alvin Robertson's record-setting defensive performance. The second-year guard broke the NBA single-season steal record less than 1 1/2 minutes into the contest. Robertson, who finished the game with four steals, broke the record of 281 set 10 years ago by Don Buse, now a Spurs assistant coach. Buse presented Robertson with the game ball.
*Mavericks 128, Suns 98: Mark Aguirre and Sam Perkins scored a total of 23 third-quarter points to break open a close game and lift Dallas past visiting Phoenix.
The Mavericks beat Phoenix for the sixth consecutive time to complete a season sweep of the Suns.
Neither team had more than a six-point lead in the first half. Brad Davis' three-point shot at the buzzer gave Dallas a 62-61 lead at halftime.
*Rockets 125, Warriors 121: In Houston, Akeem Olajuwon had 34 points and seven blocked shots to lift the Rockets over Golden State.
Houston led by 21 at the half, but was never able to put away the Warriors, who were playing without injured Purvis Short and Chris Mullen.
Houston forward Ralph Sampson, playing for the first time since injuring his back last Monday, failed to score in nine minutes of playing time.
Eric Floyd had 27 points to lead Golden State.
*Lakers 109, SuperSonics 104: In Inglewood, Calif., Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 25 points, including a layup with 16 seconds left, to help Los Angeles beat Seattle and earn a sixth victory in its last seven games and 11th straight at the Forum.
Seattle, its playoff hopes dwindling, is 3 1/2 games behind San Antonio in the race for the final postseason berth in the Western Conference. The SuperSonics have five games remaining.
*Trail Blazers 127, Nuggets 110: Kiki Vandeweghe scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half as Portland downed Denver to clinch a playoff berth. It was the Trail Blazers' eighth straight home victory.
Kenny Carr had 21 points and 16 rebounds while holding Alex English, the NBA's leading scorer, to 18 points, nearly 12 under his average.
*Bucks 116, Bulls 107: Terry Cummings scored 32 points and Ricky Pierce made five free throws in the closing moments to help Milwaukee clinch the Central Division championship with a victory over visiting Chicago.
The Bucks sewed up a seventh consecutive division crown, including the past six in the Central Division and the previous one in the Midwest Division.
Michael Jordan scored 28 points -- 20 in the second half -- for the Bucks.
*Clippers 113, Jazz 109: In Salt Lake City, Norm Nixon scored 10 of his 30 points in the fourth period as Los Angeles held off a late surge by Utah.
Karl Malone scored with 2:52 remaining to bring the Jazz within 106-105, but that was as close as they got. Nixon scored two straight baskets and free throws by Franklin Edwards and Cedric Maxwell put away the game.
Utah's Adrian Dantley led all scorers with a season-high 42 points as he moved into second place behind Denver's Alex English in the NBA scoring standings.
*Pistons 116, Pacers 108: In Pontiac, Mich., Kelly Tripucka scored 31 points to lead a comeback and Detroit handed Indiana its sixth straight loss.
Tripucka had 13 points in the third period as Detroit overcame a 56-50 halftime deficit to go ahead, 86-79, with one quarter left to play.