Washington rookie Ledell Eackles started for the first time in his 53-game professional career and responded with a season-high 25 points Monday night in a 104-98 Bullets victory over the Rockets at Houston.
Eackles prospered in the same area where he played well as a junior college player when San Jacinto College won the national title with a 37-0 record in the 1985-86 season.
“It’s a nice homecoming,” Eackles said. “I’m glad it happened here. I’ve been pleased personally with the way I’ve been playing, being only a second-round draft pick.”
Eackles got a chance to start because Jeff Malone was sidelined with a strained lower back.
“He (Eackles) did an outstanding job,” said Bernard King, who led the Bullets with 34 points. “There’s no way we would have won without him. He’s a tremendous talent.”
Akeem Olajuwon, had 27 points, 18 rebounds, four blocked shots and four assists for Houston, which has lost five straight games for its longest losing streak of the season.
Atlanta 105, Dallas 83--Dominique Wilkins scored 20 points and Moses Malone added 18 as the Hawks beat the Mavericks at Atlanta for their seventh win in their last eight games.
Rolando Blackman led Dallas with 22 points and Sam Perkins added 16.
The Mavericks got 18 points combined from their two newest players, Herb Williams with 10 and Adrian Dantley with eight.
“They’re struggling right now because of all the player changes,” Atlanta Coach Mike Fratello said of Dallas. “But you watch that team in about three weeks.”
Guard Glenn (Doc) Rivers added 15 points and 13 assists for the Hawks.
Utah 109, New Jersey 96--Karl Malone scored 31 points and John Stockton had 25 points and 15 assists as the Jazz snapped a four-game road losing streak by beating the Nets at East Rutherford, N.J.
Utah’s defensive effort came the day after the NBA’s best defense gave up 128 points in a 39-point loss to Indiana, with Malone scoring a season-low 14 points.
Darrell Griffith added 17 points and Thurl Bailey finished with 15 for Utah, while Chris Morris topped New Jersey with 21 and Roy Hinson added 19.
Milwaukee 105, San Antonio 96--Ricky Pierce scored 11 fourth-quarter points Bucks handed the Spurs their 11th straight loss.
Pierce finished with 18 points while Terry Cummings led the Bucks with 19. Jack Sikma had 16, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Frank Brickowski led San Antonio with 22 points and Dallas Comegys added 15.
Seattle 116, Sacramento 107--Derrick McKey and Dale Ellis each scored 27 points as the SuperSonics beat the Kings at Sacramento.
Danny Ainge scored 22 points and Brad Lohaus 12 in their first appearance with the Kings. Ainge and Lohaus were traded from Boston to Sacramento on Thursday in exchange for Joe Kleine and Ed Pinckney.
Sacramento’s loss came two days after defeating the Sonics 97-94 in Seattle, with Ellis scoring 11 points. Before Saturday’s loss, Seattle had defeated the Kings in six consecutive times.
Kenny Smith added 19 points and Rodney McCray 18 for the Kings, while Xavier McDaniel added 22 for Seattle.
Golden State 141, Denver 132-- Chris Mullin scored 30 points and the Warriors raced to their 11th straight home victory by beating the Nuggets at Oakland.
The Warriors have outscored opponents by an average of 13.1 during the home winning streak. They play 10 of their next 14 games at the Oakland Coliseum Arena.
Winston Garland had 22 points and 13 assists and Mitch Richmond 19 points for Golden State.
Alex English led Denver with 29 points and Walter Davis and Michael Adams each scored 21 for Denver.