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NBA ROUNDUP : It Doesn’t Take Long for Celtics to Floor Hawks

It was cruel and unjust punishment to make the Atlanta Hawks show up in Boston Sunday.

The way the Celtics are playing, it’s almost impossible to beat them when you get an even start. But to spot them 15 points at home is an almost-impossible task.

The Hawks had to make a special appearance to make up a game postponed Nov. 28 because of a slippery, dangerous floor at Boston Garden. When play was stopped, the Celtics led, 37-22, after 13 1/2 minutes.

It didn’t get any better for the Hawks 25 days later. The Celtics built a 28-point halftime lead and coasted to a 132-104 victory.

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Kevin Gamble led the Celtics with 25 points as they improved the second-best record in the NBA to 22-4 and increased their lead in the Atlantic Division to four games. They are 13-1 at home.

“When we were here for the original game, we were in an eight-game losing streak,” Atlanta Coach Bob Weiss said. “We played today like a team that was still in the slump, not like one that recently won six in a row.”

Celtic Coach Chris Ford said he worried that his team wouldn’t be ready when play was resumed. He didn’t need to worry. The Celtics, stretching their winning streak to seven games, made their first seven shots.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Celtics had a 103-68 lead and reserves were playing for both teams.

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The postponement was caused because ice under the basketball floor condensed and made the floor wet. With the temperature 68 in Boston, there was fear the bad conditions would repeat.

“We were again worried about the floor,” Dominique Wilkins said. “Obviously, they weren’t.

Portland 132, Denver 101--A running team has little chance to beat the powerful Trail Blazers--especially a crippled one.

The Nuggets, who have lost Orlando Woolridge for at least two months with an eye injury, lost Todd Lichti with a sprained ankle.

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They stayed within 10 points for the first half at Portland, but it became a rout in the second half.

Jerome Kersey had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who improved the best record in the NBA to 24-3.

Miami 99, Utah 93--Sherman Douglas had 23 points and 10 assists at Miami and the Heat, catching Karl Malone and John Stockton on off nights, ended a 10-game losing streak.

Malone, although he had 17 rebounds, made only seven of 20 attempts from the field and Stockton was only one of nine.

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After the Jazz pulled to one point, 94-93, Stockton missed a short jumper. Douglas was fouled and converted both shots. Stockton then missed a three-point shot and the Heat had the first victory for one of the four expansion teams in the past 33 games.


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