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NBA Roundup : Levingston Helps Hawks Beat Bucks, 111-98

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The Atlanta Hawks have had their troubles trying to blend some new talent into a championship team. It could have been worse.

Forward Kevin Willis was injured in training camp and hasn’t played a minute.

While newcomers Moses Malone and Reggie Theus have had some problems adjusting to Dominique Wilkins, it was easy to replace Willis.

Cliff Levingston, who spent his first 6 National Basketball Assn. seasons coming off the bench, has blended in as the substitute for the 7-foot power forward.

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Right from the start, Levingston has had the Hawks’ best shooting percentage and has been a strong rebounder.

Levingston was 10 for 12 from the field Tuesday night at Atlanta as the Hawks put an end to Milwaukee’s 6-game winning streak with a 111-98 victory.

Levingston helped the Hawks build a 19-point lead in the third quarter. He was on the bench when Ricky Pierce came off the bench to lead a rally by the Bucks that cut the lead to 4 points with more than 2 1/2 minutes left. Pierce had 14 of his 22 points in the last quarter.

It was Glenn Rivers, starting in place of injured Jeff Malone, who killed the Bucks’ rally. With 2:13 left and the shot clock running down, Rivers sank a 3-point basket to increase the lead to 99-92.

“It was a big shot,” Rivers said after taking the pass from Wilkins. I saw it coming. When I got the pass, I knew I had to shoot it. I also knew that if it went in, it was all over. I like pressure situations.”

The win was only the Hawks’ third in their last 8 games. It was the Bucks’ second loss in 12 games, both to the Hawks.

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Levingston scored 8 of his 23 points in the second quarter when the Hawks outscored the Bucks, 32-16, to build what appeared to be a comfortable lead.

“It has really helped me to know that I will play at least 30 minutes,” Levingston said. “It’s a good feeling to know you can make a mistake or two and not come out. We need Kevin, but it has been a big break for me.”

For one of the few times in his career, Moses Malone was not in the starting lineup. No, Malone was not ill or ailing. No, the 6-11 center wasn’t being disciplined. Just before the opening tipoff, there was a call from nature and Moses answered it.

Jon Koncak drew a rare last-minute start at center. Malone played 35 minutes, had 17 points and 9 rebounds.

Chicago 103, Indiana 96--The Bulls have had to depend on Michael Jordan, nearly exclusively, almost every time they have been in tough games.

So, it was refreshing for Jordan, as well as his teammates, when the star guard turned playmaker and ball stealer in this victory at Chicago.

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Jordan scored only 22 points but had 13 assists. John Paxson led the Bulls in scoring with 24 points. Jordan scored half his points in the fourth quarter.

“I had a lot of fun just contributing,” Jordan said after getting 6 rebounds and 4 steals. “I don’t think I just stood around, but it was my job to get a couple of the other guys active.

“I have to give the Pacers credit for the way they held me off for 3 quarters. I kind of paced myself tonight, because I did not get a rest until the last 3 minutes of the third quarter.”

The Pacers’ comeback effort had a blow when Chuck Person was hit with his second technical foul with 6:28 remaining.

Person, who scored 29 points, was given a technical in the opening minutes, so when he became involved in a shoving match with Chicago’s Scottie Pippen, the second technical resulted in an automatic ejection.

Indiana Coach Dick Versace was upset with referee Ed Rush for making the second call.

“It was a little double push,” he said. “It happens all the time. If it had been Michael Jordan and he had a technical already, it wouldn’t have been called.”

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Sacramento 123, Houston 109--Harold Pressley scored 7 of his game-high 24 points in the last 5 minutes at Sacramento to keep the Kings in command.

The Kings, in a surprisingly easy victory, led several times by 23 points in the victory over the Midwest Division leaders.

Utah 111, Portland 110--John Stockton sank 4 free throws in the last 14 seconds at Portland to wrap up a brilliant performance.

Stockton had 20 points, 11 in the last quarter, and 18 assists as the Jazz handed the Trail Blazers just their second home loss in 16 games.

Stockton’s free throws came after Jerome Kersey of the Blazers missed a layup with 22 seconds left and Utah leading, 107-106.

Clyde Drexler, averaging 27.9 points per game for Portland, was held to 19.

New Jersey 117, San Antonio 112--Mike McGee came off the bench to score 24 points at East Rutherford, N.J., and the Nets handed the Spurs their sixth defeat in a row.

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The Nets built a 19-point lead in the first half, but the Spurs wiped it out and took a 2-point lead with 4:11 to go. Lester Conner scored twice and Joe Barry Carroll once to restore the Nets’ control.

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