NBA ROUNDUP : Hornets Collide With Perfection and It’s Magic
Charlotte had won eight in a row, but the Magic had the Hornets right where it wanted them--in Orlando Arena.
One streak ended and another was extended when Orlando kept its home record perfect with a 109-98 victory Tuesday night.
The Magic is 18-0 at home, taken to that height when Shaquille O’Neal scored 35 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to outduel Alonzo Mourning, who had 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting and 12 rebounds.
Orlando has won four in a row and 13 of its last 15 games.
“Both teams turned the level of play up just because of the type of opponent that was out there,” the Magic’s Horace Grant said. “We’ve got the best record in the league. They were on a winning streak, so it was fun.”
O’Neal overcame a slow start to score 16 points in the fourth quarter, six in an 8-0 spurt that gave the Magic a 14-point lead with nine minutes left. The Hornets didn’t get closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Larry Johnson added 21 points for Charlotte, extending his streak of 20-plus games to 10.
The loss was the first for Charlotte since Dec. 27. The Hornets began their team-record, eight-game winning streak against the Magic two days later.
Sacramento 95, Portland 88--Brian Grant had 26 points and 16 rebounds, both career highs, and the Kings used a late 15-0 run to win at home in a game marred by a fight and three ejections.
Sacramento was trailing, 84-74, with 6:02 left, but held Portland scoreless for the next 4:58 to take a 89-84 lead.
Rod Strickland of Portland and Olden Polynice of Sacramento were ejected in the second quarter after a fight that cleared both benches. Cliff Robinson, who led Portland with 22 points, was thrown out for getting two technicals in the fourth quarter.
Phoenix 129, Denver 113--Charles Barkley scored 14 of his 26 points in a 5 1/2-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to help the Suns pull away from a one-point lead to an easy victory at Phoenix.
Dan Majerle had 32 points for Phoenix and Danny Manning added 24.
Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 27 points for the Nuggets.
San Antonio 101, Boston 92--Chuck Person scored 24 points, Dennis Rodman grabbed 18 rebounds and the Spurs used a 16-2 fourth-quarter run to win at Boston.
David Robinson added 18 points for San Antonio, which snapped a two-game losing streak that followed a run of 13 victories in 14 games. Dino Radja had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Celtics in his best performance since returning on Jan. 9 after a hand injury had sidelined him for 15 games.
Seattle 115, Cleveland 91--Detlef Schrempf scored 21 points and Gary Payton added 20 for the SuperSonics, who stretched their winning streak to a season-long seven games.
Five Seattle players scored in double figures as it won its 16th consecutive game at the Tacoma Dome and ended the Cavaliers’ seven-game road winning streak that dated back to Dec. 7.
Both of the Sacramento Kings’ rookie forwards--Brian Grant and Michael Smith--were among 16 players selected to play in the NBA’s rookie game during All-Star weekend at Phoenix. Among those also picked were the Clippers’ Lamond Murray, the Lakers’ Eddie Jones, Milwaukee’s Glenn Robinson, Dallas’ Jason Kidd and Detroit’s Grant Hill, who also leads balloting for the regular all-star game. . . . Robinson faces a fine for missing the Bucks’ morning practice, saying he apparently overslept. Coach Mike Dunleavy also missed the workout because of flu.