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NBA Roundup : Smits’ Free Throws Lift Pacers Over Cavaliers

From Associated Press

Time had expired Monday night, and the Indiana Pacers had blown a 13-point lead, but they were still in good shape to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time this season.

Rik Smits, fouled as the buzzer sounded, needed to make just one free throw to give his team its first victory over Cleveland in six tries.

He made both and the Pacers won, 104-102, at Indianapolis.

“I don’t know what happened to the lead,” Smits said. “I looked up and it was three.”

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Indiana led, 98-85, with 3:30 left, but Ron Harper scored six points in a 17-4 Cleveland run. The Cavaliers tied the game on Mark Price’s basket with three seconds remaining.

Indiana’s Vern Fleming then missed a running shot from the lane. The 7-foot-4 Smits grabbed the rebound and was fouled by Harper.

Cleveland, which trails the Detroit Pistons by two games in the Central Division, is 5-5 in its last 10 games.

Detroit 90, Dallas 77--Isiah Thomas scored five of his 30 points during a 9-0 second-half run as the Pistons beat the Mavericks at Auburn Hills, Mich., to become the first team to win 50 games this season.

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The game marked the first meeting between the teams since the Feb. 15 trade in which the Pistons sent Adrian Dantley and their first-round draft pick in 1991 to the Mavericks for Mark Aguirre.

Dantley scored 18 points to Aguirre’s 12. Thomas had the hot hand, sinking 11 of 21 shots.

It was the fifth consecutive win for Detroit and the 10th straight loss for Dallas.

New York 121, Charlotte 105--Patrick Ewing equaled his career high with 45 points as the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks defeated the Hornets at Charlotte to end a three-game losing streak.

Ewing, who scored 29 points in the first half, made 18 of 25 shots and nine of 10 free throws, matching the 45 points he had earlier this year against Washington.

Milwaukee 121, Golden State 109--Larry Krystkowiak scored 26 points and Fred Roberts added a season-high 19 to lead the Bucks past the Warriors at Milwaukee.

The victory spoiled the homecoming of Warrior Coach Don Nelson, making his first coaching appearance in Milwaukee since leaving the Bucks after the 1986-87 season.

Miami 100, New Jersey 79--Pearl Washington scored 21 points, Rory Sparrow added 20 and the Heat outscored the Nets, 32-20, in the fourth quarter en route to a victory at Miami.

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The expansion Heat, with the NBA’s worst record, has won four of its last five home games. The victory margin matches the Heat’s largest of the season, a 101-80 victory over Utah on Dec. 23. The Nets have lost 10 straight.

Utah 124, Seattle 105--Karl Malone scored 35 points and John Stockton had 25 points and 12 assists at Salt Lake City as the Jazz beat the SuperSonics for their 12th straight victory at home.

Thurl Bailey added 21 points and 13 points and Mark Eaton had 10 points and 13 rebounds.


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