NBA ROUNDUP : Timberwolves Laugh Last in Upset of Rockets

From Associated Press

Isaiah Rider and Christian Laettner sat on the Minnesota Timberwolves' bench during much of the fourth quarter Monday night at Minneapolis.

It was garbage time at the Target Center once again, except this time the home team was the one doing the laughing.

In one of the major upsets of the NBA season, the Timberwolves, with the second-worst record in the league, defeated the defending champion Houston Rockets, 94-75.

Rider scored 24 points and Chris Smith scored eight of his 16 in a 23-6 run that gave the Timberwolves a 90-68 lead.

Minnesota kept the Rockets scoreless for a span of 5:31 early in the fourth quarter and used a 13-0 run to open an 80-62 lead with 7:04 to play.

"It's a great feeling (to be able to sit Laettner and Rider)," Minnesota Coach Bill Blair said. "If you can rest them and maintain or increase a lead, you're in great shape."

The Timberwolves held the Rockets to 28 second-half points. The 75 points accounted for the third-lowest total in the Rockets' history.

Hakeem Olajuwon was held to four points after halftime.

New York 107, New Jersey 90--Patrick Ewing had a season-high 32 points and 15 rebounds at New York as the Knicks won for the ninth time in 10 games.

The Knicks built a 62-41 halftime advantage and took a 77-51 lead on a three-point basket by Hubert Davis with 3:40 to play in the third quarter.

Utah 99, Indiana 98--Karl Malone scored a season-high 42 points and Antoine Carr scored six of his eight points in overtime at Indianapolis, helping the Jazz to their 13th consecutive road victory.

The Jazz matched the second-longest road winning streak in NBA history, established by the 1964-65 Boston Celtics. The record of 16 consecutive road victories is held by the 1971-72 Lakers.

Washington 109, Chicago 101--Calbert Cheaney scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter at Landover, Md., as the Bullets ended a 10-game losing streak.

The Bullets had been winless since beating the Clippers on Dec. 23 at the Sports Arena. The Bullets also ended an eight-game home losing streak, which matched the longest in franchise history.

Chicago led, 94-93, before Howard made a hook and Scott Skiles a long jumper. After the Bulls pulled to 97-95, Rex Chapman made a three-point shot.

Golden State 77, Denver 73--Tom Gugliotta made a three-point shot with 41 seconds to play at Oakland as the Warriors ended an eight-game losing streak.

With the score tied at 73-73, Gugliotta made his shot from the top of the key as the 24-second clock was winding down. Tim Hardaway, who led the Warriors with 21 points, added a free throw with 12 seconds to play.

The 73 points were the fewest by the Nuggets since joining the NBA in 1976-77 and only one more than the franchise worst, set on Nov. 3, 1973, when the Nuggets were in the ABA.

The Nuggets played their first game without Dan Issel, who resigned as coach on Sunday, citing burnout. Assistant Gene Littles took over as interim coach.

Atlanta 99, Miami 95--Mookie Blaylock scored 20 points and Craig Ehlo 19 as the Hawks improved their regular-season home record against the Heat to 12-0.

The Heat, which won a playoff game against the Hawks in The Omni last season, cut its deficit to 98-95 with 18 seconds left on a basket by Glen Rice, who was fouled on the play.

Rice missed the free throw, Atlanta got the rebound in a scramble and Blaylock made a free throw with eight seconds to play.

Detroit 116, Philadelphia 110--Joe Dumars score 35 points as the Pistons sent the 76ers to their ninth consecutive loss.

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