New York Knick Coach John MacLeod picked up his 700th NBA victory Thursday night at New York, but it wasn’t easy.
The Knicks led by nine points with 2:09 left in regulation but needed two overtimes to beat the Miami Heat, 125-121, and make MacLeod the eighth NBA coach to win 700 games.
“I know other coaches who have been stuck on a milestone and needed five or six games to get it,” MacLeod said. “I guess it can’t be easy.”
The Knicks improved their overtime record to 6-0, but MacLeod, 700-646 in his 18th season as an NBA coach, saw the Knicks commit a season-high 28 turnovers.
The Knicks (32-32) have won 10 of their last 11 games.
“I’ll take 10 victories in 11 games any time over my 700th victory,” MacLeod said.
Patrick Ewing scored New York’s first seven points of the second overtime, including a go-ahead free throw with 49 seconds left, and finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Gerald Wilkins scored a season-high 27 points for the Knicks and Kiki Vandeweghe had 23, including two free throws at the end of the first overtime that tied the score, 115-115. Charles Oakley had 16 points and 20 rebounds.
Sherman Douglas led Miami with 33 points, and Rony Seikaly added 26 points and 18 rebounds for the Heat, which didn’t score in the final 2:49 of the second overtime. Grant Long grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds for Miami.
Denver 112, Minnesota 105--Jim Farmer had 20 of Denver’s 40 points by non-starters as the Nuggets overcame an early 15-point deficit at Denver.
Minnesota’s starters, led by Tony Campbell’s 32 points and Pooh Richardson’s 23, outscored Denver’s, 98-72. But Denver’s reserves outscored the Timberwolves’ reserves, 40-7, as the Nuggets won back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
The Nuggets, not one of the NBA’s more physical teams, had a 58-37 rebounding advantage, enabling the Nuggets to outscore the Timberwolves, 34-15, on second-chance points and 50-24 on inside shots.
Michael Adams led the Nuggets with 27 points and nine assists.
Cleveland 103, Milwaukee 101--Craig Ehlo put the Cavaliers ahead for good with two consecutive three-point shots, then made a clinching 18-foot jump shot with 16 seconds left at Richfield, Ohio.
Ehlo and Buck rookie Steve Henson staged an unlikely fourth-quarter shooting duel, with Henson scoring all of his career-high 16 points during the period. Ehlo missed all six shots he took in the first three quarters before scoring 10 points on four-for-five shooting in the fourth.
Larry Nance led Cleveland with 31 points and Brad Daugherty had 23 and 13 rebounds.
New Jersey 118, Detroit 110--Reggie Theus scored nine of his 25 points in a 23-8 second-quarter surge that gave the Nets the lead for good at East Rutherford, N.J.
The Pistons, who had gone 13-0 against the Nets since Jan. 30, 1988, have lost eight of 11 and 12 of their last 19 in their worst slump since 1985-86. Detroit is 12-12 since Isiah Thomas injured his right wrist and underwent surgery in January.
San Antonio 101, Golden State 99--David Robinson had 29 points and 17 rebounds as the Spurs survived foul-shooting problems in the last half-minute to win at Oakland.
Tim Hardaway’s three-point jump shot with 8.2 seconds left cut the Spurs’ lead to 100-99, and after San Antonio’s David Wingate made only one of two free throws, Rod Higgins’ last-second three-pointer just missed.
Houston 119, Orlando 95--Kenny Smith scored 13 of his 22 points in the third quarter, sparking an 18-6 run as the Rockets won at Houston for their ninth victory in 10 games. Buck Johnson led Houston with 26 points.
Indiana 107, Sacramento 103--Detlef Schrempf scored 23 points and the Pacers withstood a furious fourth-quarter rally at Sacramento. Indiana led, 81-66, after three quarters.