NBA ROUNDUP : Robinson Helps Lucas Win His Spurs' Debut

From Associated Press

In his first game as coach of the San Antonio Spurs, John Lucas learned a valuable lesson. If all else fails, he still has David Robinson.

Robinson had 21 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocked shots Tuesday night at San Antonio, leading the Spurs to a 113-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets. It was the Nuggets' eighth consecutive loss.

Lucas was hired Friday to replace Jerry Tarkanian, who was fired 20 games into the season. Lucas' only previous coaching experience was in the U.S. Basketball League.

But the way his team played Tuesday, who needs experience? Dale Ellis and Sean Elliott each scored 23 points for the Spurs. Gary Plummer led Denver with 20 points and Dikembe Mutombo added 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Seattle 107, Portland 96--The SuperSonics, playing without Shawn Kemp because of an injured right knee, took a 95-75 lead with 7:33 remaining and then held off the Trail Blazers at Portland.

It was the Trail Blazers' third home loss in 13 outings. Derrick McKey scored 26 points for Seattle, which took over second place alone in the Pacific Division.

Cliff Robinson, who had a game-high 28 points for Portland, sank a three-pointer to make it 99-96 with 1:17 remaining. But Seattle scored the final eight points.

Detroit 98, Houston 84--The Rockets might be one of the NBA's hottest teams, but at Auburn Hills, Mich., they suffered through their lowest scoring quarter, half and game of the season. The Pistons, who are even hotter, handed the Rockets only their second defeat in eight games. The Pistons have won 10 of 11 games after a 2-9 start. "We just weren't able to read their defense," said Rocket Coach Rudy Tomjanovich, whose team scored only 11 points in the second quarter and 34 points in the first half.

Joe Dumars led the Pistons with 23 points and Isiah Thomas added 22, and rookie Robert Horry led the Rockets with 20 points.

Phoenix 106, Golden State 104--Charles Barkley's tip-in with 18 seconds left at Phoenix gave the Suns the lead, then they survived two Golden State possessions to match their single-season record of 10 consecutive victories.

The Warriors came from 13 points behind in the third quarter to take the lead on three occasions in the final quarter, the last time at 104-102 on Tim Hardaway's three-pointer with 2:05 left. But Danny Ainge tied it with two free throws before Barkley, who had 25 points and 16 rebounds, tipped in a miss by Cedric Ceballos.

Orlando 101, Utah 98--Shaquille O'Neal had 28 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots and sparked a fourth-quarter rally that carried the Magic at Orlando.

O'Neal, the heralded 7-foot-1 rookie center, sat on the bench late in the third quarter and early in the fourth with four fouls, but returned to bail out the faltering Magic with six points, six rebounds and three blocked shots in the final 10 minutes. It was the fourth consecutive victory for Orlando after a six-game losing streak.

The Jazz, who lost for only the fourth time in 12 road games, received 30 points from Karl Malone and 20 from Jeff Malone.

Boston 106, New Jersey 104--Dee Brown's 20-foot jumper with 1.4 seconds remaining spoiled New Jersey's comeback from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter at East Rutherford, N.J. The Celtics' margin increased to 16 points three times before the Nets made a frantic rally. After trailing 102-91 with 4:43 remaining, New Jersey tied the score, 104-104, with a 13-2 burst that Chris Morris capped with an 18-foot jumper with 24 seconds left. Robert Parish led the Celtics with 20 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Drazen Petrovic led New Jersey with 24 points.

Charlotte 130, Atlanta 114--Larry Johnson scored 29 points and Dell Curry added 28 at Atlanta as the Hornets never trailed. The Hornets, leading 76-71 halfway through the third quarter, used a 14-0 run in a span of 2:04 to build a 19-point lead. The Hawks, losing their fourth in a row at home, were unable to get within 10 points again.

Duane Ferrell led the Hawks, who are without Dominique Wilkins, with 17 points.

Sacramento 102, Milwaukee 99--Lionel Simmons scored seven of his 23 points in overtime as the Kings ended an eight-game losing streak with a victory at Milwaukee, sending the Bucks to their 11th consecutive loss. The Bucks have tied a club record for consecutive losses set in 1974-75. They have only won one of 12 games in December while the Kings have won two of 10 games during the month.

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