The Philadelphia 76ers, with Charles Barkley scoring a season-high 43 points, snapped the New York Knicks’ 26-game winning streak at Madison Square Garden with a 121-112 victory Thursday night.
The Knicks matched the second-longest single-season home winning streak in league history, falling five short of the mark held by Boston. The Celtics also had the longest home winning streak over two seasons (38) by winning their last 31 at Boston Garden in 1985-86 and their first seven the following season.
New York is 29-2 at home for the season, with their only previous loss coming against the Lakers, 110-98, Nov. 22.
“More important than their streak was the good chance we will play them in the first round of the playoffs,” Barkley said.
“That’s the reason we put emphasis on this game. We haven’t given up on winning the Atlantic Division, but we’re seven or eight games behind. If we play them in the first round, every game will be a war. Since we beat them once here, we know now that we can do it.”
New York took its only lead of the second half, 59-58, on a dunk by Johnny Newman with 9:03 left in the third quarter. A tip-in by Mike Gminski gave the 76ers the lead for good and started a 9-0 run that gave them a 67-59 advantage. The closest the Knicks got after that was five points, the last time at 85-80 with 10:40 left.
The Knicks tried to catch up in the final minutes, but the 76ers made most of their free throws down the stretch to stay comfortably in front.
Patrick Ewing had 27 points and Charles Oakley 25 points and 18 rebounds for New York.
Boston 111, Indiana 99--Kevin McHale scored 36 points and the Celtics held the Pacers scoreless for nearly four minutes in the win at Indianapolis.
It was the Celtics’ fourth straight victory and their second in a row over the Pacers after losing the first two meetings.
A layup by Robert Parrish gave Boston the lead for good, 83-81, with 9:20 left. A pair of jumpers by Randy Wittman pulled Indiana to within one point twice, the last time at 88-87 with 7:40 remaining.
But the Pacers didn’t score again until Chuck Person hit two free throws with 3:54 left, when the Celtics had a 98-89 lead.
Houston 120, Milwaukee 104--Akeem Olajuwon had 32 points and 17 rebounds, and Otis Thorpe had his first career triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists in the Rocket win at Houston.
The Rockets led just 77-76 with 1:48 left in the third quarter, but Olajuwon scored five points to spark a 13-2 run that put Houston in command, 90-78, early in the fourth quarter.
Seattle 108, Charlotte 88--The SuperSonics held the Hornets scoreless for a span of 7:45 in the second and third quarters, and Dale Ellis scored 32 points as host Seattle extended Charlotte’s losing streak to nine.
The SuperSonics snapped a five-game losing streak--all the defeats came on the road--and improved to 1-4 under interim Coach Bob Kloppenburg, who took over after Bernie Bickerstaff was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer.
Atlanta 119, Sacramento 103--Dominique Wilkins scored 27 points as the Hawks won at Sacramento in a game marred by the ejection of King Coach Jerry Reynolds.
Reynolds was thrown out for unsportsmanlike conduct with 5:21 remaining after being restrained from going after official Nolan Fine, who called an offensive foul on Jim Petersen. Official Hugh Evans and King assistant Coach Herman Kull wrapped their arms around Reynolds at halfcourt to prevent him from reaching Fine.
Danny Ainge scored 36 for Sacramento.
Denver 119, San Antonio 102--Alex English scored 32 points as the Nuggets improved their home record to 28-5.