NBA ROUNDUP : Bulls Have No Trouble in Landover

The Capital Centre in Landover, Md., is one of Michael Jordan’s and the Chicago Bulls’ least favorite places.

Jordan had never scored more than 35 points there and, since he joined the club, the Bulls had won only three times in 16 appearances.

So, the Bulls were a bit nervous when they took on the Washington Bullets Friday night.


Although Jordan did not have a big scoring night, there was really no need for concern. The Bulls led, 20-7, in the first seven minutes and coasted to a 112-94 victory. It was the Bulls’ 12th in the past 14 games.

Jordan became mostly a playmaker, getting five assists in the first half and helping the Bulls to a 61-50 lead. Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen had 22 points each and Jordan had 20.

The Bulls’ magic number in the Central Division is three, but they are more concerned with having the best overall record. They are 53-17.

The Bullets, once again without injured Bernard King, who has a back problem, were led by reserve John Williams’ 27 points.

Pippen has been shooting poorly lately, but he was 10 for 18. “Scottie really picked us up,” Chicago Coach Phil Jackson said. “This club does a real good job on Michael, so Scottie got things going right from the start.”

Boston 110, Cleveland 108--The Celtics trailed most of the game at Boston before clinching their first Atlantic Division title in three years.

Boston trailed by nine points in the third quarter but pulled it out when Robert Parish made a 10-footer as the game ended. Hot Rod Williams of the Cavaliers had his hand on the ball, but it went in anyway.

The Celtics have a 51-20 record with 11 games left. The second-place 76ers are 39-32.

On a night when Larry Bird had only 17 points, Reggie Lewis (29 points) and Parish (25) led the Boston attack.

The Celtics weren’t happy about their second poor performance in a row. Thursday night they blew a big lead and lost to Miami.

“We won, but there’s not a lot to be proud of,” Coach Chris Ford said.

Detroit 111, Golden State 105--Shortly after the Pistons learned that injured Isiah Thomas would be back sooner than expected, Mark Aguirre, getting an infrequent start at Auburn Hills, Mich., scored 29 points.

It was believed that Thomas, after wrist surgery, would not return until the playoffs. His doctor, Kirk Watson, said that he would probably give Thomas permission to play after an examination next Friday.

“He’s not 100%,” the doctor said, “but he wants to gamble, and I’m inclined to let him.”

The Warriors, who trailed, 72-46, three minutes into the second half, rallied to within 107-105 with 48 seconds to play. Joe Dumars’ two free throws with 10 seconds left sealed the victory.

Aguirre, 10 for 18 from the field, started because James Edwards has a back injury. Aguirre scored 16 points as the Pistons opened a 64-42 halftime lead.

Philadelphia 124, Charlotte 107--With Charles Barkley suspended for spitting on a fan, the 76ers lost at Charlotte on Thursday night.

Barkley returned for the rematch at Philadelphia, but Hersey Hawkins led the 76ers’ romp.

Hawkins made 13 of 16 shots, including two of three from three-point range, and had 37 points. Barkley had 26 points and 13 rebounds.

Denver 140, Sacramento 122--Michael Adams scored 37 points at Denver as the Nuggets easily extended the Kings’ NBA-record road losing streak to 31 games.

Adams was six for 10 from three-point range and the Nuggets were nine for 16.

Seattle 117, Minnesota 107--Eddie Johnson and Ricky Pierce each scored 24 points at Seattle to help the SuperSonics beat the Timberwolves.

The Sonics led by 19 points in the third quarter, but Tony Campbell, who had 30 points, brought Minnesota to within three points twice during the fourth quarter.