NBA Roundup : Bulls Surge Ahead in Playoff Struggle, 107-101
Orlando Woolridge’s basket and two free throws in the final 90 seconds Monday night pushed the Chicago Bulls into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a 107-101 decision over the Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago.
With Cleveland losing to Detroit, the Bulls moved one game ahead of the Cavaliers. Both teams have three games remaining, including a season-ending matchup Sunday at Richfield, Ohio.
Chicago’s Michael Jordan scored 26 points and Woolridge contributed 24 to help end Milwaukee’s five-game winning streak.
The Bulls led by as many as 19 points late in the third quarter before Milwaukee’s Randy Breuer led a comeback.
Chicago had a 98-85 lead with five minutes left, but Breuer hit four hook shots to draw the Bucks to within 100-97 before Woolridge made his crucial points.
New York 106, Indiana 104--Louis Orr hit a 10-foot jump shot with three seconds left and the Knicks eliminated the Pacers from playoff contention at New York.
Indiana, which was battling Cleveland and Chicago for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot, lost its ninth straight.
The Pacers were ahead, 103-94, with 2:45 left but scored only on a free throw by Vern Fleming that tied the score, 104-104, with 13 seconds remaining before Orr’s shot decided it.
Rookie Gerald Wilkins scored 29 points for the Knicks, and Steve Stipanovich had 23 for Indiana.
Detroit 128, Cleveland 104--Kelly Tripucka scored 23 points as the Pistons beat the Cavaliers at Pontiac, Mich.
The Cavaliers have lost five straight games.
Detroit improved to 31-10 at home, breaking the record for home victories set during the 1976-77 and 1983-84 seasons.
Isiah Thomas’ jumper moved the Pistons ahead for good, 81-79. Vinnie Johnson then scored nine of Detroit’s next 13 points as the Pistons opened a 94-80 advantage with 59 seconds left in the third quarter. The Pistons led by 26 points in the fourth quarter.
World B. Free scored 29 points for Cleveland.
Denver 131, Phoenix 123--At Phoneix, Alex English scored 38 points and Calvin Natt added 28 as the Nuggets all but eliminated the Suns from the playoff picture.
The defeat left Phoenix two full games behind the idle San Antonio Spurs in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth. The Clippers also are two games back.
The Suns, who play host to San Antonio Wednesday night, have four games remaining in their attempt to qualify for postseason play for the ninth straight season.
The score was tied 31 times before Natt’s layup put the Nuggets ahead to stay, 121-119, with 3:03 left.
Sacramento 122, Dallas 115--Reggie Theus scored 19 points and hit five free throws in the final 76 seconds to lift the Kings to a victory over the Mavericks at Sacramento.
The Kings trailed by as many as 11 points and didn’t lead in the second half until Otis Thorpe scored on an offensive rebound with 3:27 left for a 109-108 advantage. Thorpe scored again 42 seconds later to give Sacramento a five-point lead.