Akeem Olajuwon scored 25 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and blocked 5 shots as the Houston Rockets handed the San Antonio Spurs their fourth straight defeat, 136-110, Thursday night at San Antonio.
The loss kept the Clippers’ slim playoff hopes alive.
San Antonio has a two-game lead over the Clippers in the race for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
In order for the Clippers to make the playoffs, the Spurs (33-46) must not win more than one of their final three games and the Clippers (30-47) must not lose more than one of their last five.
Phoenix is also in contention with a 30-45 record.
Mike Mitchell scored 33 points, and Wes Matthews had 19 for the Spurs.
Houston’s victory, coupled with the 115-114 loss of the second-place Denver Nuggets in Dallas gave the Rockets a four-game lead over Denver in the Midwest Division, with five games left.
Dallas 115, Denver 114--A steal by Derek Harper initiated a three-point play by Rolando Blackman with four seconds, giving the Mavericks a win over the Nuggets at Dallas.
The Mavericks moved within 1 1/2 games of the second-place Nuggets in the Midwest Division.
It was the fifth loss in six games for the Nuggets and their fifth straight setback on the road, where Denver is 11-27.
Denver took a 114-112 lead with 27 seconds left on an eight-foot jumper by Alex English, who scored 28 points.
But Harper made a steal and passed to Blackman, who was fouled by English as he scored. Blackman, who had 25 points, added the free throw.
The game was spiced with 2:59 left by two technical fouls called against Dallas Coach Dick Motta, resulting in his ejection.
The technicals helped Denver score five straight points and take a 110-108 lead with 2:11 remaining.
Dallas center James Donaldson grabbed 21 rebounds.
Chicago, 109, Indiana 108--John Paxson hit a 10-foot shot with seven seconds to play as the Bulls edged the Pacers at Indianapolis.
Michael Jordan led a fourth-quarter charge for the Bulls, scoring 15 of Chicago’s final 23 points. Jordan had 26 points in 28 minutes.
After Paxson’s winning shot, the Pacers had two opportunities to win. Vern Fleming and Clint Richardson both missed shots.
Gene Banks scored 20 points for Chicago. Wayman Tisdale had 30 points, and Herb Williams added 24 for Indiana.
Washington 120, New Jersey 108--Gus Williams scored 33 points, and Cliff Robinson contributed 30 to lead the Bullets at East Rutherford, N.J.
The Bullets moved within a half-game of New Jersey for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams already have qualified for the playoffs, but a sixth-place finish would be favorable. Philadelphia, heavily hit by injuries, will likely be the first-round playoff opponent for the sixth-place team, while the seventh-place club will probably get Milwaukee.
Milwaukee 114, Cleveland 93--Charles Davis scored 21 points, and Alton Lister added 20 at Milwaukee as the Bucks won their fourth straight.