Robert Parish had 30 points and 16 rebounds and the Boston Celtics survived a late Philadelphia rally for a 105-103 victory Sunday despite 38 points and 15 rebounds by the 76ers’ Charles Barkley.
The win moved Boston (35-32) 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia (37-31) in the battle for the next-to-last playoff spot in the National Basketball Assn.'s Eastern Conference and three games ahead of Washington for the final berth. Boston plays at Philadelphia Tuesday night.
The Celtics, whose victory put them three games over .500 for the first time this season, took an 11-point lead at 101-90 when Joe Kleine made a short jumper with 6:28 left. But they got only one field goal and four points the rest of the way.
Baskets by the 76ers’ Ben Coleman and Scott Brooks cut the lead to 101-94. Reggie Lewis, who had 26 points, got Boston’s last field goal, making the score 103-94 with 4:44 to play.
But Philadelphia fought back, closing to within a point at 104-103 when Maurice Cheeks made a layup with two minutes to go. Then both teams went cold. Boston missed its next three shots, while Philadelphia missed two. A free throw by Parish closed the scoring.