The Detroit Pistons, known for their offensive power, did it with defense again Monday night, holding their fourth straight opponent, the Indiana Pacers, to fewer than 100 points in a 115-95 victory at Pontiac, Mich.
Adrian Dantley scored 31 points and Vinnie Johnson added 25 to help the Pistons record their seventh straight win. Detroit's record is 44-20, the first time in the team's history that they are 24 games over .500.
Detroit leads the Atlanta Hawks, who have won 10 straight, by one game in the Central Division.
The Pistons are playing their best basketball of the season but are unable to pull away from the Hawks. But Piston Coach Chuck Daly says he isn't getting frustrated.
"They must be feeling (frustrated), Daly said. "They've won 10 straight and they can't take over the lead."
"It's a lot of fun here in Detroit," Dantley said. "When you've been on another team and you're used to getting the ball all the time, and then you go to a team where there are other great scorers, it takes getting used to, but I'll do other things to help the team win."
After the Pacers scored nine straight points midway through the third quarter, Dantley scored six points during a 16-1 run that gave the Pistons an 81-60 advantage with 1:26 left in the period.
John Long had 17 points for the Pacers.
Houston 97, Chicago 96--The Bulls lost their fifth straight game when Rodney McCray tapped in Allen Leavell's missed shot with one second left at Houston.
Michael Jordan's two free throws gave the Bulls the lead with five seconds left after he was fouled by Akeem Olajuwon. Jordan scored 44 points, but they were offset by Olajuwon's 28 and McCray's 22.
A tip-in by Olajuwon with 8:48 left in the fourth quarter put Houston ahead, 78-76, but four minutes later, Chicago regained the lead, 87-86, on Gene Banks' 12-foot jump shot.
Cedric Maxwell's three-pointer gave Houston a 93-89 lead before Jordan scored six of the last seven Chicago points.
Olajuwon scored the first three-pointer of his career at the halftime buzzer, and it gave the Rockets a 47-43 lead.
Seattle 122, San Antonio 111--Dale Ellis scored 33 points to help the SuperSonics snap a three-game losing streak at Seattle.
Ellis' two free throws with 6:38 left in the third period broke a 70-70 tie and started the Sonics on a 10-2 run during which Alton Lister scored six points.
Lister, who scored 10 of his 18 points in the third period, also grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked 4 shots, giving him a team-record 163 blocks this season.
Rookie forward Larry Krystkowiak came off the Spurs' bench to score 24 points. Walter Berry added 23 points, and Alvin Robertson had 22 and 10 rebounds.
Tom Chambers added 21 for Seattle.