NBA Roundup : Miami Strings 2 Wins Together, Beats Spurs
Winning may not be routine to the Miami Heat, but it’s not a rarity anymore.
The expansion team, which opened the season by losing its first 17 games, won its second in a row, defeating the San Antonio Spurs, 111-109, Monday night at Miami.
Since Dec. 14, when the Heat defeated the Clippers, 89-88, for the franchise’s first victory, Miami is 3-4.
The Heat, which wore down Karl Malone and the Utah Jazz Friday night for its first home victory, outdueled the Spurs before a capacity crowd of 15,008.
Pat Cummings, a longtime backup center in the National Basketball Assn. but a starting power forward for the Heat, was the star this time.
Cummings, 32, scored 6 of his 17 points in the last minute to lead a big comeback.
The Spurs, who have lost 6 in a row and 10 of their last 11, had a 104-97 lead when Vernon Maxwell sank 2 free throws with 2:29 to play. The Heat scored the next 10 points, the last 4 by Cummings to take a 107-104 lead.
The Spurs cut the lead to a point, but with 20 seconds left, Cummings sank 2 free throws to clinch the victory.
“Give some of the credit to our fans,” Coach Ron Rothstein said. “The crowd has been incredible the last 2 games. You can’t help but get steamed up when the fans are behind you.”
Rory Sparrow, a star in the victory over Utah, also had a hand in this one, scoring a season-high 28 points. He also forced Willie Anderson to hurry a 3-point shot in the closing seconds that would have tied the score.
Houston 97, Charlotte 95--The Hornets just missed winning their second in a row at Charlotte.
But a dunk by Rocket center Akeem Olajuwon with 63 seconds left broke a 95-95 tie, and the Hornets, in their eagerness to catch up, threw the ball away twice in a row.
The slam gave Olajuwon 23 points. He also had 15 rebounds, along with 7 turnovers.
Robert Reid, a former Rocket, led the Hornets with 25, and Kelly Tripucka had 19.
Olajuwon’s dunk came on a lob from Buck Johnson. It was a play that Coach Don Chaney has been trying to get the Rockets to use.
“Fortunately, we executed it perfectly,” Chaney said. “We’re improving and learning how to win. We’ve been working on the lob, and I think we’ve finally got it.”
Washington 120, New Jersey 108--Jeff Malone scored 12 of his 30 points in the third quarter at East Rutherford, N.J., to bring the Bullets from behind to an 11-point lead.
Then, John Williams came off the bench in the last quarter to score 11 points and thwart the Nets’ hopes of a comeback.
The Nets were led by former Laker Mike McGee, who scored 25 points, and Lester Conner, who had 17 points and 12 assists.
It was only the Bullets’ seventh victory in 24 games, and for one of the few times, they had some help from their center. In 23 minutes, Dave Feitl had 14 points and 5 rebounds.
“We stopped them inside,” Bullet Coach Wes Unseld said.