With the Boston Celtics in total command, the Atlanta Hawks needed help last night to avoid their ninth straight loss . And they got it.
With the Celtics ahead, 37-22, and just 1:30 gone in the second period, the NBA game was called because of slippery floor conditions in Boston Garden.
Officials called the game because of "unsafe conditions" resulting from condensation of ice under the Garden's parquet floor.
The slippery conditions resulted from unseasonably warm weather in the seventies in Boston earlier in the day.
"If there are unsafe conditions once the game starts, it's up to the crew chief to make the decision," said referee Dick Bavetta, who halted play.
"I felt it was for the safety of the players and the officials that this game be postponed."
A crowd of 14,890, the Celtics' 460th consecutive Garden sellout, was told that the game would be rescheduled by the NBA at a later date. Fans were advised to retain ticket stubs.
On Jan. 5, 1986, a game between Phoenix and the SuperSonics in Seattle was called in the fourth period because of a leaky roof. The game was picked up where play halted the following night.
Cheri White of the NBA office said it has not been decided whether the Hawks-Celtics game would be restarted or resumed at the point it stopped.
Celtics General Manager Jan Volk said he was told by Rod Thorn, vice president of NBA operations, that the game would be resumed with the Celtics leading by 37-22.