NBA Roundup : Daugherty Ejected, but Cleveland Wins Brawl With Detroit

There was only one real sharpshooter on the court Friday night at Auburn Hills, Mich., in the bitter, rough defensive battle between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons.

When the Pistons figured out a way to get rid of hot-shooting Brad Daugherty, they almost rallied to win before losing, 80-79, to the best road team in the National Basketball Assn.

Daugherty was 7 of 8 from the field before he was involved in an altercation with rival center Bill Laimbeer, who was 1 for 7, late in the third quarter. Because both threw punches before they grappled and all players on both benches joined the melee, both were ejected.

When order was restored, officials had to separate the Pistons’ enforcer, Rick Mahorn, from high-scoring Larry Nance of the Cavaliers. Seconds later, Vinnie Johnson of Detroit and Ron Harper of Cleveland exchanged words, but no punches.


At the time, the Cavaliers, who had dominated the game, led by 13 points. Suddenly they turned cold, scoring only 10 points in the last 13 minutes.

“You wouldn’t call that a trade-off, would you?” Cleveland Coach Lenny Wilkens asked. “I thought we were unsettled (after Daugherty’s ejection). He’s our best passer, and we run a lot of offense around him.”

Laimbeer maintained that Daugherty started the fight. Daugherty wasn’t available after the game.

A 14-0 spurt in the fourth quarter triggered by Isiah Thomas enabled the Pistons to tie the score, 73-73, with 4 minutes to play. Thomas had 16 of his 22 points in the second half, including 5 in the big rally.

Mark Price, the only player besides Daugherty who took as many as 8 shots and made more than half of them, sank 2 free throws with 51 seconds left to give the Cavaliers an 80-77 lead. Thomas’ jumper cut the lead to a point, but when he missed a desperation shot at the buzzer, the Cavaliers, who are 13-6 on the road, improved the best record in the league to 31-8.

It’s surprising that the Pistons were close, since they shot 38% from the field and only 65% from the free-throw line.

Philadelphia 113, Golden State 112--The Warriors continue to be the surprise team of the NBA, but lately their luck has turned sour on the road.

They lost a heartbreaker to Detroit Wednesday night when Isiah Thomas threw up a shot over 7-foot 7-inch Manute Bol and it banked high on the backboard before dropping through the net for a 1-point victory with 14 seconds to play.

This may have been a tougher defeat. With 5 seconds left, the Warriors led the 76ers, 112-110. But Hersey Hawkins, who was only 7 for 20 (35%) to that point, sank a 3-point shot. When Rod Higgins’ short jumper at the buzzer bounced off the rim, the Warriors had back-to-back 1-point defeats.

The Warriors held burly Charles Barkley in check, especially in crunch time. He had 17 points and 16 rebounds, but only 2 points in the last quarter.

Coach Don Nelson moaned about the Warriors’ missed layups.

“It’s unfortunate, but missed layups contributed largely to this loss,” Nelson said. “We’re going to make the easy shots most of the time. Give them credit, they (the 76ers) made 3 passes before making the last shot.”

The Warriors, who have been winning with a starting lineup of players 6-8 or under, will get 7-4 Ralph Sampson back tonight at Indianapolis, but 6-8 Larry Smith may remain the starting center. Bol came off the bench to block 11 shots in 21 minutes.

Phoenix 132, New York 130--The Knicks, playing their sixth road game in 9 nights, battled the Suns right down to the wire before losing in the last 5 seconds on a rebound basket by Tom Chambers.

With the score tied, 130-130, Mark West of the Suns missed 2 free throws. Chambers rebounded the second one and finished with a season-high 36.

Seattle 119, Atlanta 112--The SuperSonics, trailing by 16 at halftime, turned it around with a tough defense and the shooting of Derrick McKey to win their 16th in a row at home.

McKey had 20 of his 28 points in the second half, and the Hawks went almost 9 minutes without a field goal, ending their 4-game winning streak.

Chicago 117, Washington 106--Michael Jordan had one big scoring burst in the second quarter at Chicago, and it carried the Bulls to victory.

Jordan scored 16 of his 33 points in the last 5:52 of the first half to put his club in front to stay. The rest of the night, he concentrated on assists (9) and rebounds (11).

Dallas 126, San Antonio 82--It became a rout at Dallas when Mark Aguirre scored 9 of his 35 points in a 14-4 spurt to open the second half.

The injury-riddled Spurs used Calvin Natt and Jay Vincent, who had been obtained in a trade with Denver and who arrived shortly before game time. Natt had 16 points in 23 minutes. Vincent had 14 points in 33 minutes.

Boston 128, Sacramento 116--The shooting of Reggie Lewis kept the Celtics from getting blown out in the first half at Boston. Then, with Robert Parish leading the way, the Celtics regained their form with a 74-point second half.

The Kings, who won a tough game against New Jersey Thursday night with playmaker Kenny Smith playing 48 minutes, led, 62-54, at halftime.