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NBA ROUNDUP : Slumping Pistons Still Playing Defense Like Champions at Home, 105-84

At home, at least, the Detroit Pistons don’t appear to have any problems.

With their defense holding the Bulls to 10 points in the second quarter and with guards Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas showing the way offensively with 19 points each, the Pistons romped to a 105-84 victory over the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night at Auburn Hills, Mich.

The Pistons, who had lost three in a row and seven of their previous eight, improved their home record to 9-1. Overall, they are 15-9.

Michael Jordan, battling flu, scored 33 points. But when he went out for a rest after scoring the Bulls’ first eight points in the second quarter, the Pistons took over. They quickly ran a 33-28 lead remaining to 46-30 as Chicago could score only two points the rest of the quarter.

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Most of the Pistons’ problems have been a result of poor shooting by the trio of guards ranked among the league’s best. Even in this game, despite Dumars’ nine-of-14 shooting, he, Thomas and Vinnie Johnson were only 17 for 35.

They shot much better than Scottie Pippen, the Bulls’ No. 2 scorer. He was two for 16.

“The Pistons returned,” Coach Chuck Daly said. “When we play with that kind of intensity, we’re some kind of basketball team. We showed why we were last year’s champions, especially on defense.”

Said Jordan: “I hope it wasn’t lack of concentration, because this is the team we’re supposed to be ready to play.”

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Boston 115, Philadelphia 105--Charles Barkley had another outstanding game, but the Celtics ganged up on him in Boston.

The Celtics had four players scoring in the 20s, including Kevin Gamble, who was eight for nine and had 23 points.

Nobody matched Barkley. The 6-foot-5 forward had 35 points and nine rebounds, but could only keep the 76ers respectable.

The Celtics led by as many as 19, but the 76ers cut it to 101-96 with five minutes to go. Three free throws and a three-point shot by Larry Bird put the game out of reach.

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The Celtics, off to their best start since they last won the title in 1985-86, improved to 20-4, and increased their lead over the 76ers to four games.

Bird, who had a poor game in a loss at Philadelphia, played 44 minutes and had 24 points, although he was only three for 10 in three-point shots. He had seven rebounds, eight assists and six steals.

San Antonio 144, Denver 109--The Spurs scored 76 points in the first half at San Antonio, then coasted to their seventh consecutive victory.

The Spurs built a 24-6 lead and were able to give both Terry Cummings and David Robinson most of the second half off.

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Washington 114, Indiana 112--Bernard King and Harvey Grant scored the last 16 points for the Bullets to bring them from behind to an overtime victory at Indianapolis.

King had 37 points, including six in the last three minutes of regulation and a basket early in overtime to put the Bullets ahead to stay.

New York 104, Miami 94--Patrick Ewing wasn’t about to let the visiting Knicks blow this one.

The 7-foot center scored 17 of his 26 points in the final 12 minutes to keep the Knicks in command. Ewing finished with 14 rebounds.

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The Knicks have won four out of their last five and three in a row on the road.

Phoenix 112, Minnesota 96--Xavier McDaniel seemed to be exactly what the Suns needed to be an outstanding team.

Although there was conjecture that McDaniel and Tom Chambers would not be a good combination at forward, the Suns are 7-0 since they obtained McDaniel from Seattle.

The star of this victory at Phoenix was Jeff Hornacek with 23 points and 16 assists, but McDaniel played another steady game, getting 18 points.

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