NBA ROUNDUP : Pacers Send the Spurs Down a Troublesome Road With 109-102 Victory
There were signs that this was the season David Robinson and the San Antonio Spurs were going right to the top.
They had a 10-3 record to start, the best in the West.
True, most of those games were at home, but the Spurs thought they had solved travel problems by responding to players’ complaints about using commercial flights for the hectic NBA road schedule.
It hasn’t worked that way. San Antonio’s 109-102 loss to the Pacers at Indianapolis Tuesday was the Spurs’ fifth consecutive defeat, four of them on the road. San Antonio is 2-7 away from home despite the use of charter flights.
For the Pacers, Reggie Miller scored 25 points, including a layup in the final minute that put away victory.
The Spurs’ losing streak started shortly after veteran forward Terry Cummings was injured. But lately, Robinson has been in a slump. Tuesday, he had 20 points and eight rebounds and was in foul trouble early. Willie Anderson, making 11 of his 16 shots, had 22 points, to lead San Antonio.
The Spurs faded after building a 58-49 halftime lead. Miller and hot-shooting Michael Williams led the Pacers’ second-half rally.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with us,” Anderson said. “We’re really trying, but we’ve got to stop making mistakes at crucial moments. We came out unprepared in the third quarter.”
Chicago 108, Seattle 103--It used to be that when Michael Jordan had an infrequent off night, the Bulls lost. That’s no longer true. Still, it was rather unexpected when centers Stacey King and Will Perdue took over on this night in Chicago, when Jordan was only seven for 20.
King, coming out of Coach Phil Jackson’s doghouse, scored 22 points and Perdue had 13 to lead the Bulls to their 15th victory in their last 16 games.
Houston 108, Portland 106--The Rockets’ five-game losing streak ended with a bang. Olajuwon led a 41-point last quarter at Portland, and the Rockets overcame a nine-point deficit to win it.
Hakeem Olajuwon scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. He keyed a 23-9 spurt in the last four minutes.
The loss was the fourth in 12 games at home for the Trail Blazers, who lost only five of 41 home games last season.
Phoenix 102, Detroit 93--Kevin Johnson scored 25 of his 28 points in the second half at Phoenix to lead the Suns to their eighth victory in a row.
The Pistons, 9-12 overall, are 4-6 on the road.
Despite a big game by Dennis Rodman, the Pistons faded away after a close three quarters. Rodman had 28 rebounds and 17 points.
Atlanta 118, Milwaukee 114--Dominique Wilkins had 41 points and 13 rebounds, and Kevin Willis, the league’s leading rebounder, had 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead the victory at Atlanta.
Their performances spoiled the return of veteran center Moses Malone. In his first appearance at Atlanta since joining the Bucks, Malone had a season-high 27 points and 13 rebounds.
New York 114, New Jersey 88--When Pat Riley took over as coach of the Knicks, he decided to stress defense and rebounding.
The Knicks have the best defense in the league and outrebound almost all their opponents these days.
Patrick Ewing had 23 points and 12 rebounds at East Rutherford, N.J., and the Knicks won for the eighth time in their last nine games. The game was decided in the first period when the Knicks limited the Nets to five baskets in 19 shots. By halftime the Knicks led, 59-40.
Utah 122, Orlando 103--Karl Malone had 27 points and John Stockton 24 as the Jazz built a 15-point first-quarter lead on its way to a win at Salt Lake City.
Dallas 114, Miami 110--Rolando Blackman had a season-high 31 points at Dallas, but the Mavericks had to go overtime to end their four-game losing streak.
Blackman’s two free throws with 26 seconds left in overtime sealed the victory.