For the first time in the NBA’s 51-year history, one team scored more than twice as many points as the other.
The Indiana Pacers pulled off the feat Friday night at Indianapolis with the second-most lopsided victory in league history, a 124-59 rout of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Portland barely surpassed the NBA record low of 57 points and came within three points of matching the worst rout in league history--a 148-80 loss--68 points--by Miami to Cleveland in 1991.
“It all started with the defense the first half,” Pacer Coach Larry Bird said. “I don’t think we’ve played defense any better than that. Tonight we played about as well as we could.”
Previously, the closest a team had come to doubling its opponent’s point total was in 1951--before the introduction of the 24-second clock--when the Minneapolis Lakers defeated the Milwaukee Hawks, 99-51, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
It was the Pacers’ 39th victory in 56 games, matching their win total for all of last season.
Rik Smits had half of Indiana’s points during a 16-0 run in the first quarter, and the Pacers then forced repeated Portland turnovers and took a 49-15 lead after a 14-0 run in the second quarter.
The Trail Blazers shot only 33% from the field, 42% from the foul line and made only three of 17 three-point shots.
Toronto 115, Orlando 107--Doug Christie scored 35 points and Chauncey Billups made several key plays in the extra periods as the Raptors won in triple-overtime at Orlando.
Christie helped the Raptors rally from a 14-point deficit in regulation and the Magic were outscored, 12-4, in the third overtime.
Billups converted a three-point play with 10.4 seconds left in the second overtime to force the third extra period, then made a three-point shot with 87 seconds left for a 113-107 lead in the third overtime.
Boston 120, Golden State 88--The 32-point win at Boston was the largest margin of victory for the Celtics this season.
Boston took control from the outset and led, 17-4, on Antoine Walker’s three-point basket with 5:45 left in the first quarter. The Celtics took a 20-point lead midway through the second quarter and the Warriors never threatened the rest of the game.
Philadelphia 79, Denver 78--The Nuggets had a chance to end their nine-game losing streak, but botched two chances to win in the final seconds at Denver.
The 76ers turned the ball over on a shot clock violation with 13.9 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Denver’s Anthony Goldwire drove the lane but missed a layup attempt over Derrick Coleman. Dean Garrett of the Nuggets missed a tip with four seconds left and the clock ran out when the ball was batted to center court.
Detroit 90, Cleveland 87--Jerome Williams blocked a shot by Shawn Kemp that would have tied the score, then Grant Hill made a free throw with 10 seconds left to secure the victory at Auburn Hills, Mich.
Carl Thomas missed a desperation three-point attempt at the final buzzer. It was the Cavaliers’ ninth loss in 12 games.
Seattle 90, Atlanta 88--Vin Baker’s 10-foot basket over Alan Henderson with 3.1 seconds left gave the SuperSonics the victory at Seattle.
After Baker’s winning shot, Tyrone Corbin inbounded from midcourt and Christian Laettner’s three-point attempt from the right corner bounced off the rim.
Sacramento Coach Eddie Jordan was fined $5,000 by the NBA for screaming at the officials after Thursday night’s 102-99 loss to New Jersey. Jordan berated referee Leroy Richardson at midcourt. Richardson had made a questionable foul call against Corliss Williamson after he grabbed an offensive rebound with 24 seconds to play and Sacramento trailing by a point. . . . Detroit put reserve center Eric Montross, who has pain in his right knee, on the injured list. To fill the roster spot, the Pistons took guard Steve Henson off the injured list.
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The Indiana Pacers routed the Portland Trail Blazers Friday, 124-59, for the second-most lopsided victory in NBA history. The league’s most decisive wins: *--*
Margin Result Year 68 Cleveland over Miami 148-80 1991 65 Indiana over Portland 124-59 1998 63 Lakers over Golden State 162-99 1972 62 Syracuse over New York 162-100 1960 62 Golden St. over Sacramento 153-91 1991