Michael Jordan scored 56 points and sparked a 12-0 fourth-quarter run as the Chicago Bulls held off the Philadelphia 76ers, 93-91, Tuesday night at Chicago.
The Bulls almost squandered a 10-point lead in the last 5:14.
The 76ers pulled to within 93-91 on a steal and layup by Steve Colter with 14 seconds left. But a last-second shot by Colter, who led the 76ers with 21 points, fell short.
"I was counting the seconds off in my head, and with two seconds left I pulled up to shoot when Sedale Threatt got under me and threw me off," Colter said. "I thought I would at least go to the foul line and shoot the free throws, but the refs saw it differently."
Jordan made 22 of 32 shots, 12 of 15 free throws and had 8 steals and 7 rebounds for the Bulls.
His shot tied the score at 71-71 with 9:50 left, and he then made a steal and scored on a dunk. After a three-point play by Gene Banks, Jordan added a free throw and two more baskets to give the Bulls an 81-71 lead with 5:14 left.
Atlanta 96, Washington 87--Dominique Wilkins took six stitches above the left eye in the first quarter but came back to score 31 points and lead the Hawks to victory at Landover, Md.
Kevin Willis had 22 points for the Hawks, who won their third straight game to move a game ahead of the idle Detroit Pistons in the Central Division.
Washington has lost three in a row and is 3-5 since center Moses Malone was sidelined with a neck injury.
Atlanta shot 39% and Washington 25% in a first half that included Wilkins' injury, a near-fight between Atlanta's Spud Webb and Washington's Michael Adams and the ejection of Bullet Coach Kevin Loughery.
Jay Vincent led Washington with 22 points. Bullet guard Jeff Malone, averaging 22 points a game, missed his first 13 shots and scored only 6 points. He made his only shot with five seconds left.
Boston 111, Cleveland 88--Larry Bird scored 32 points and Kevin McHale added 22 at Hartford Conn., as the Celtics romped to their fourth straight victory.
McHale had all of his points and Bird had 30 of his by the end of the third quarter as the Celtics built a 20-point lead before substituting freely in the last 12 minutes.
Bird made 13 of 16 shots and had 9 assists and 8 rebounds. Danny Ainge had 17 points and 9 rebounds, and Robert Parish had 14 points and 9 rebounds for Boston.
Brad Daugherty led the Cavaliers with 16 points, and Phil Hubbard had 12.
Ron Harper, Cleveland's leading scorer with a 23-point average, scored only 8 points on 3-of-12 shooting. It was the first time this season that Harper failed to score in double figures.
Milwaukee 135, New York 96--The Bucks romped over the injury-riddled Knicks at Milwaukee, getting 27 points from Craig Hodges and 24 from Ricky Pierce.
The Knicks played without centers Patrick Ewing, Bill Cartwright and Jawann Oldham and forward Pat Cummings. Milwaukee was without injured starters Paul Pressey and Sidney Moncrief.
Milwaukee led at the end of the first quarter, 44-30, and increased its advantage to 78-57 by halftime and 106-79 at the end of the third quarter.
Trent Tucker led the Knicks with 19 points, and Wilkins added 14. Other Bucks in double figures were Jerry Reynolds with 16, Jack Sikma and Terry Cummings with 14 each, Dudley Bradley with 12 and Paul Mokeski with 11.
Milwaukee shot 67% in the first half, making 30 of 47 shots.
Dallas 119, New Jersey 107--Mark Aguirre scored 17 of his season-high 43 points in the fourth quarter at East Rutherford, N.J., as the Mavericks came from behind to to win their sixth straight game.
Aguirre, who became involved in a controversy with Coach Dick Motta and several teammates after being ejected from a game in Dallas on Saturday, eclipsed his previous season high by two points.
After his ejection Saturday for continually arguing with the officials, Motta had called Aguirre "immature" and a teammate called him a "jerk."
New Jersey, which has lost five of its last six games, led by nine points in the third period and was still ahead, 88-84, early in the fourth quarter. Then Aguirre took over, scoring all of Dallas' points in a 13-4 spurt that put the Mavericks ahead for good.
First, Aguirre hit a jumper from the key and then added a three-point field goal. After Jeff Turner hit a jumper for the Nets, Aguirre scored on a short turnaround shot, then drove the lane and was fouled for a three-point play.
A hook shot by Buck Williams cut Dallas' lead to 94-92, but Aguirre came right back with another three-point play.
That put Dallas in control, and the Mavericks went on to their 14th victory in their last 18 games.
San Antonio 103, Houston 97--Artis Gilmore scored 24 points at San Antonio as the Spurs ended a five-game losing streak against the Rockets.
The Spurs had five players in double figures. Walter Berry had 22 points, Jon Sundvold 18 and Johnny Moore 17, and David Greenwood had 14 points, 10 assists and 15 rebounds. Houston was led by Akeem Olajuwon with 22 points.
In the fourth period, the Rockets closed to 90-88 before Moore hit nine straight points for San Antonio to put the Spurs ahead, 99-92, with 3:49 to go.
Sacramento 128, Portland 116--Reggie Theus, who had 23 points and a career-high 16 assists, scored 11 points in the last eight minutes to lift the Kings at Sacramento.
The Kings outscored Portland, 18-4, during a four-minute stretch that gave them a 118-101 lead with 4:16 left.
Reserve Eddie Johnson scored 26 points and Joe Kleine added 20 for the Kings, who ended a four-game losing streak.
Portland got 32 points from Clyde Drexler and 29 from Kiki Vandeweghe.