The next time Vinnie Johnson gets in one of his shooting grooves, the Detroit Pistons might want to hang up a “Do Not Disturb” sign. It would be a shame to interrupt the type of performance he had Wednesday night in a 96-85 victory over the Utah Jazz at Auburn Hills, Mich.
Detroit’s sixth man came off the bench to score 34 points and set a club record with 19 consecutive straight points in the second quarter.
“I was in a groove and I didn’t want to be disturbed,” said Johnson, who made six in a row from the field during the streak. “I just wanted to concentrate on playing good defense and getting my shots.”
Johnson made 13 of 21 shots, and was eight for eight from the line. The 19 straight points broke the club record of 16 set by Isiah Thomas in the 1984 playoffs against New York.
“We just ride him as much as we can,” Coach Chuck Daly said of Johnson. “We just keep calling his number time and time again. This is a big lift after losing (Tuesday to Cleveland). It was an important win for us.”
Karl Malone scored 27 points for Utah.
The Pistons, 24-2 when their opponents score fewer than 100 points, never trailed. They led for all but the opening moments. They weren’t able to shake the Jazz, though, until Thomas scored four points to spark an 8-0 run that turned an 86-83 Detroit lead into a 94-83 cushion with 1:59 left.
Milwaukee 121, New York 111--Terry Cummings scored 38 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and added 10 rebounds as the Bucks built a big lead and held off the Knicks at Milwaukee.
The Bucks, who won their third in a row, led by 15 points at halftime and by 18 after three quarters. But Gerald Wilkins scored 11 straight points to start a New York rally, and Mark Jackson’s three-point play with 5:09 left capped a 16-7 run that cut Milwaukee’s lead to 106-97.
But Larry Krystkowiak made two free throws and Rickey Green, signed Wednesday as a free agent, made a jumper to put the Bucks ahead, 110-97, with 3:53 left. Krystkowiak had 20 points as Milwaukee won for the 12th in time in 13 home games.
Kiki Vandeweghe made his first appearance for the Knicks since being traded from Portland, but he did not score.
Boston 104, Atlanta 90--Kevin McHale and Robert Parish led a fourth-quarter charge at Boston that enabled Celtics to survive an Atlanta comeback and end the Hawks’ four-game winning streak.
McHale had 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, when Parish scored nine of his 23.
Boston’s lead, which reached 13 points late in the third quarter, fell to 80-78 on a fall-away jumper by Moses Malone with 7:46 left. McHale scored the next four points, but Atlanta’s Reggie Theus got the next four, making it 84-82.
But a free throw by Parish started a 7-0 run in which McHale followed with two foul shots, Parish dunked and Reggie Lewis made a jumper, increasing the lead to 91-82 with 3:54 left.
The closest the Hawks came after that was seven points, as McHale and Parish scored 10 of the Celtics’ final 13 points.
Boston, in its first game at Boston Garden since Feb. 8, won for the fourth time in five games. The Celtics outrebounded Atlanta, 62-37, and outshot the Hawks, 58.9%-39.5%.
Washington 120, New Jersey 105--The Bullets won for the fifth time in six games as Bernard King scored six of his 28 points in the final 3:19 at Landover, Md., where the Nets’ lost for the eighth consecutive time.
Washington used an 18-6 run midway through the second period to open a 56-47 lead and was in front at halftime, 60-53, despite shooting fewer than 40% from the field.