NBA ROUNDUP : Suns at Home on Road, Winning at Cleveland
It’s not that tough a road, is it? The Phoenix Suns finished off a 4-1 trip as Charles Barkley scored 20 points, including the clinching basket with just over a minute left in an 89-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night in Cleveland.
The Suns won for the 13th time in 15 games. One of their two losses during that span came at home against the Cavaliers. The other defeat was Sunday against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.
Phoenix has not lost consecutive games all season.
Phoenix never trailed in the fourth quarter, although Cleveland tied it, 72-72, on Tyrone Hill’s layup with 9:21 to play. A layup by Joe Kleine and a three-point shot by Danny Ainge put the Suns back ahead, 77-72, and they stretched the advantage to eight points on A.C. Green’s tip with 4:05 left.
Utah 115, Minnesota 80--John Stockton had 14 assists at Salt Lake City, leaving him 11 shy of Magic Johnson’s lifetime NBA assists mark as the Jazz stretched its winning streak to 13 games.
Utah, which has won 22 of its last 24, finished January with a 14-1 record and a 6 1/2-game lead over San Antonio in the Midwest Division.
Stockton, who scored 11 points, had 12 assists in the first half and could have come closer to Johnson’s record of 9,921 assists had he played more of the second half.
New Jersey 99, Portland 98--Chris Morris’ 18-foot turnaround jump shot with 4.7 seconds left lifted the Nets at Portland. Morris, at 6 feet 8, posted up 6-2 James Robinson and spun to his right, nailing the shot to give the Nets a 99-97 lead. Portland’s Rod Strickland had a chance to tie it again with 1.6 seconds left when he was fouled. Strickland made the first free throw but the second went off the front rim.
Atlanta 95, Miami 92--Former Heat guard Steve Smith hit a three-point shot with 30.6 seconds remaining at Miami.
Making his first start in 20 games, Smith scored 19 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Grant Long, who was traded along with Smith from Miami to Atlanta for Kevin Willis in November, scored 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting in a reserve role.
Seattle 109, Philadelphia 104--Sam Perkins scored a season-high 31 points as the SuperSonics won at Philadelphia for their seventh consecutive victory on the road.
It was the fourth game in a row that the 76ers--losers of 15 of their last 17--lost in the final minute.
Philadelphia 76er center Shawn Bradley injured his right knee in the fourth quarter of the game against Seattle. Bradley collided with Nate McMillan as he chased a rebound of his own missed shot with 3:21 to play. He left the court with the help of trainers. Bradley missed the last 33 games of his rookie season last year when he suffered a dislocated left kneecap after a collision. Team spokeswoman Jodi Silverman said the preliminary diagnosis was that Bradley had sprained the knee. There was no word on how long he would be out. Bradley is averaging 8.3 points and three blocks a game. . . . Jason Kidd, weakened by flu symptoms and dehydration, was hospitalized in Dallas and probably will miss the Mavericks’ next two games. . . . The Cleveland Cavaliers retired the No. 22 jersey of forward Larry Nance at halftime of their game against the Suns.