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76ers Beat Bullets Before Only 7,170

April 18, 1985|Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Moses Malone scored 26 points and Julius Erving 24 for the Philadelphia 76ers, who rallied in the final minutes to beat the Washington Bullets, 104-97, Wednesday night in the opening game of their best-of-five National Basketball Assn. playoff series.

The crowd of 7,170 was a season-low at the Spectrum. The second game of the series will be played Sunday at Philadelphia.

Philadelphia, which trailed by 11 points at early in the third period, tied the score, 92-92, on a follow shot by Erving with 4:37 left, but Gus Williams sent the Bullets back ahead with a free throw 16 seconds later.

The 76ers scored seven consecutive points, starting with a field goal by Maurice Cheeks, who contributed 17 points. The rally put Philadelphia in command, 99-93, with 2:11 left.

Washington managed only four points in the final two minutes.

Philadelphia rookie Charles Barkley contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Cliff Robinson collected 24 points and Jeff Ruland, who missed 43 of the Bullets' last 44 games with a shoulder injury, scored 20 points for Washington.

The win was the 76ers' first home playoff victory since they defeated the Lakers in the second game of the 1983 championship series en route to the NBA title.

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