NBA ROUNDUP : Nets, Playing With Blocks, Rout Nuggets
If the victory at Philadelphia Wednesday night was the high point of Paul Westhead’s two seasons as coach of the Denver Nuggets, the low point came less than 24 hours later.
The New Jersey Nets, not to be confused with a good NBA team, humiliated the Nuggets, 121-81, Thursday night at East Rutherford, N.J.
It wasn’t just the final score, either.
The Nets, in winning for only the sixth time in 20 games, set a league record by blocking 22 shots. They also held the Nuggets to 26 points in the first half.
The game had long since been decided when Tate George blocked Chris Jackson’s layup with 8:46 remaining to break the record of 21 blocked shots. Three teams had the record, including the Lakers, who did it against Denver on April 9, 1982. Derrick Coleman had six of the New Jersey blocks.
For all intents and purposes, the game was over after a quarter. The Nets blocked six shots and held the Nuggets to four baskets on 21 shots for a 27-12 lead. Before they stopped blocking shots, the Nets built a 46-point lead at 117-71.
After the Nuggets had spoiled the return of Charles Barkley on Wednesday with a 98-88 victory over the 76ers, Westhead said: “I am very happy with this win.”
After this one, he said: “It was a long night.”
Houston 99, Golden State 96--Rookie Matt Bullard made a dunk with 16 seconds left at Oakland to bring the Rockets from behind.
Houston, despite 33 points and 20 rebounds for Hakeem Olajuwon, fell behind after leading, 92-83, with eight minutes remaining.
Sarunas Marciulionis missed a jumper with two seconds left that would have put the Warriors ahead.
Cleveland 134, Atlanta 107--Larry Nance and Brad Daugherty made it easy for the Cavaliers to improve their home record to 9-0.
Nance and Daugherty kept Dominique Wilkins and Kevin Willis in check at Richfield, Ohio. Nance held Wilkins, who had 93 points in the two previous games, to 14 points. Daugherty won the battle of the boards and Willis failed to reach double figures in rebounds for the first time in 18 games. He had seven.
Nance was 12 for 15 and had 26 points. Daugherty had 20 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
“Coach (Lenny Wilkens) told me it was my job to stop Willis,” Daugherty said.
Milwaukee 109, Washington 97--When he is rested and goes up against a team with a center weakness, Moses Malone can still dominate.
With the Bullets’ top rebounder and No. 2 scorer, Pervis Ellison, joining the Bullets’ long injured list, Malone had 24 points and 19 rebounds in 33 minutes at Landover, Md. The Bucks ended an eight-game road losing streak.
Sacramento 106, Orlando 100--Lionel Simmons had 28 points and Wayman Tisdale 26 at Sacramento as the Kings handed the Magic its fifth consecutive defeat.