Alex English scored 42 points and backup center Danny Schayes had a season-high 21 Monday night as the Denver Nuggets defeated the Houston Rockets, 125-122, in a battle of National Basketball Assn. Midwest Division leaders at Denver.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Nuggets (19-12), while the Rockets fell to 20-12 and lost for the 12th time in 16 games on the road this season.
English, who scored an NBA season-best 54 points Nov. 19 the last time Houston played here, got 12 of his points in the final quarter as the Nuggets held on for the victory in the see-saw contest.
Schayes’ pair of free throws with nine seconds to play established a 124-120 lead after John Lucas of the Rockets had connected on a basket two seconds earlier to pull the visitors within two points.
The Rockets, who led by as many as nine points in the first half, were hurt much of the game by foul problems incurred by Twin Towers Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon.
Olajuwon finished with a team-high 24 points for Houston, while Lewis Lloyd and Sampson had 19.
New Jersey 123, New York 111--Darryl Dawkins scored 25 points and Buck Williams scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Nets to victory over the Knicks at East Rutherford, N.J., in the Nets’ second game without AWOL guard Micheal Ray Richardson.
The Knicks played their third game without rookie center Patrick Ewing, who is injured.
Chicago 121, Cleveland 117--George Gervin scored 18 of his 31 points in the second half and Dave Corzine made two key baskets in the last minute and a half as the Bulls defeated the Cavaliers at Richfield, Ohio.
Indiana 97, Washington 80--Herb Williams scored a career-high 38 points as the Pacers defeated the decimated Bullets at Landover, Md. The victory was the second for Indiana in 15 road games this season.
Washington played without Jeff Ruland and Frank Johnson, who have broken bones, while Gus Williams, Kenny Green and Darren Daye who are out with the flu. Even trainer John Lally failed to make it to the bench because of the flu.
Milwaukee 121, Detroit 110--Sidney Moncrief scored 26 points and Terry Cummings added 23 to lead the Bucks to victory over the Pistons at Milwaukee.
Moncrief scored 21 points in the first quarter as the Bucks improved their record to 22-12. The loss was Detroit’s 17th in 32 games.
Utah 107, Seattle 105--John Stockton’s field goal and a free throw by Karl Malone in the final minute gave the Jazz a victory over the SuperSonics at Salt Lake City.
Malone’s free throw came with five seconds remaining. After hitting the first, he missed the second, Seattle grabbed the rebound and called timeout with four seconds remaining.
Jack Sikma then bobbled the inbounds pass from Gerald Henderson and put up an unsuccessful desperation shot at the buzzer.
Portland 125, San Antonio 110-- Clyde Drexler scored 23 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds as the Trail Blazers snapped the Spurs’ five-game winning streak in a game at Portland.
Mychal Thompson had a season-high 30 points for the Trail Blazers, who took an early lead and were in control most of the contest.
Drexler’s triple double included a resounding slam-dunk on a lob pass from Thompson in the second quarter, a play that earned a standing ovation from the Memorial Coliseum crowd.
Philadelphia 87, Sacramento 84--Bobby Jones hit three free throws in the final 22 seconds to lift the 76ers to victory over the Kings.
Jones scored all of his seven points in the final minute and a half of play to put the 76ers on top and ice the win. The 6-foot-9 forward was the only 76er to score in the last two minutes.