Reggie Lewis ignited a decisive 35-point third period by diving for a loose ball and Boston shredded the Phoenix Suns' vaunted defense in a 132-103 victory Friday night, the Celtics' 15th consecutive home victory.
Kevin McHale scored 23 points, Larry Bird and Brian Shaw 21 each and Robert Parish and Lewis 18 apiece as the Celtics extended their season record to 25-5, including 16-1 at home.The Suns, trailing by as many as 13 points in the second quarter, got within two early in the third period on three consecutive baskets by Jeff Hornacek, who led Phoenix with 22 points.
Then Lewis beat the Suns to a loose ball with a dive across midcourt and, while on his back, passed to Kevin Gamble for an easy layup.
The Suns' Tim Perry followed with a dunk, but it was Phoenix's last gasp as Boston went on a 28-8 run for a 97-75 lead with 11/2 minutes left in the quarter.
The Celtics employed their fast break along with a strong inside game in whipping the Suns, who won their four previous games by an average of 27 points while holding opponents under 100 points.
In the big third period, Boston outscored Phoenix 35-18.
With a 102-77 lead starting the fourth quarter, the Celtics cleared the bench, which widened the advantage at the end.
Hawks 111, Pacers 96
At Atlanta, Dominique Wilkins scored 36 points and John Battle had 10 of his 16 in the fourth quarter as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers for their fifth consecutive victory.
The Hawks, who have won eight straight at home after losing six in a row at the Omni, led 82-79 going to the final period before a free throw by Battle and Sidney Moncrief's two baskets gave the Hawks an 87-79 lead less than 90 seconds into the quarter.
Pistons 98, Cavaliers 94
At Richfield, Ohio, Joe Dumars scored nine of his 25 points in the final two minutes, including a three-point play with 27.4 seconds left that gave Detroit the lead for good, to lead the Pistons to a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Detroit, which won for the fifth straight game and seventh time in the last nine contests, was led by 26 points from Mark Aguirre, all in the second half, and also got 13 points from James Edwards. Cleveland has lost six straight and 12 of 13 and was led by Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance, each with 21 points.
Bullets 111, Timberwolves 100
At Minneapolis, Ledell Eackles, a preseason contract holdout, scored 12 of his season-high 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Washington Bullets broke open a close game and defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Eackles, who missed the entire exhibition season and the first week of the regular season before reporting out of shape, made eight of 11 shots in helping the Bullets win their third straight game. Bernard King had 26 points and Harvey Grant 25 for Washington, which shot 55 percent from the floor.
Spurs 93, Nets 89
At East Rutherford, N.J., David Robinson had 26 points and 21 rebounds and keyed an 11-0 fourth-quarter run with three blocked shots and a slam dunk, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a victory over the New Jersey Nets.
The victory was the Spurs' ninth in 11 games and prevented them from losing consecutive games for the first time this season. It also handed New Jersey its fifth straight loss and eighth in 10 games.
Derrick Coleman had 21 points and 16 rebounds in his return to the New Jersey lineup after being sidelined two games with a knee injury.
Akeem out 3 weeks
HOUSTON - Houston center Akeem Olajuwon suffered a broken bone near his eye after being elbowed by Chicago's Bill Cartwright, prompting Rockets General Manager Steve Patterson Friday to question the tactics used by the Bulls center.
"This is the second injury Akeem has had from Bill Cartwright," Patterson said.
The injury will keep Olajuwon out of action for at least three weeks.