NBA ROUNDUP : No Help at Home for Suns

From Associated Press

It was stingy defense against high-powered offense, and you would think the home-court advantage might make a difference.

It didn't.

The Phoenix Suns lost only their second home game of 18 this season, coming up short against Cleveland's NBA-leading defense, 107-96, Thursday night.

Terrell Brandon had a career-high 30 points and Chris Mills blocked three shots in 1:21 of the third quarter for the Cavaliers.

Brandon scored 18 points in the first quarter, when Cleveland took the lead for good. The Cavaliers' defense--which has given up an average of 89.6 points per game--kept the Suns, whose 112.3-point scoring average is No. 2 in the league, from getting closer than five points after that.

Danny Manning scored a season-high 33 points for Phoenix, and Charles Barkley had 15 points and 13 rebounds.

In the third quarter, Mills blocked shots by Dan Majerle, Manning and Barkley, the latter getting a technical that Mills converted with 6:29 to play. It completed an 8-0 run and left the Cavaliers ahead, 69-54.

Cleveland is 20-5 when holding an opponent below 100 points. The Suns' five-game winning streak was snapped.

San Antonio 113, Miami 108--Sean Elliott's 32 points and Vinny Del Negro's 27--both season highs--in a victory at home made up for the absence of David Robinson, who has a muscle strain in his lower back.

San Antonio's sixth consecutive victory--and 13th in its last 14 games--was accomplished from the outside, with the Spurs tying a franchise record with 10 three-point baskets.

Denver 94, Dallas 78--Rodney Rogers scored 16 points and Dikembe Mutombo had 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots for the Nuggets at Denver.

Jim Jackson and Jamal Mashburn led Dallas with 15 points each, but the NBA's fourth- and fifth-leading scorers shot only five of 14 and six of 21, respectively, as the Mavericks finished at 37%.

NBA Notes

Chicago's Scottie Pippen says it's either him or Jerry Krause, the Bulls' general manager, because "no place could be worse than here."

Pippen has made no secret of his distaste for the Bulls' management, calling Krause a liar and saying he was allowing the team to deteriorate by letting forward Horace Grant leave for Orlando.

But Pippen's demand for a trade didn't get much encouragement from Bull Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who said, "Every player, with the exception of Michael Jordan, is tradeable. So maybe next week or next month or next year, Scottie might be traded. But we don't have any deal or discussions going on with anybody right now."

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