James Worthy scored 25 points and Magic Johnson had his third triple-double of the season as Los Angeles held run-and-gun Denver to its lowest point total of the season in a 122-105 victory at Denver. The Nuggets, who had been averaging 132.2 points, lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Johnson had 21 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, while reserve Terry Teagle scored 19 points and A.C. Green 18. Denver led 17-15 with 5:18 remaining in the first period, but the Lakers went on a 13-2 run, with Johnson gettng two baskets and two assists, and steadily pulled away. Orlando Woolridge led the Nuggets with 30 points.Johnson was impressed with Denver despite its 1-9 record and the fact that the Lakers led 109-86 with 3:31 left.
"I think people have falsely criticized the Nuggets after what I saw tonight," he said. "I thought they showed a lot of control and he (coach Paul Westhead) definitely has them playing in control.
"We were prepared for the trap and I thought once we broke the trap we would be able to take advantage of our size."
Lakers coach Mike Dunleavy said he thought the Nuggets "were pretty conservative and they didn't give us the fastbreak chances we thought we might have."
76ers 109, Hornets 101
Charles Barkley and Hersey Hawkins each scored 31 points and Philadelphia held off a late Charlotte comeback. The Sixers led 84-64 with 3:19 left in the third period but the Hornets rallied behind Kendall Gill and Randolph Keys, closing to 94-89 with 5:13 to go.
It was 103-93 with 1:37 left, but Keys hit a jumper, Tyrone Bogues made a steal and a layup and Bogues made another steal and fed Johnny Newman for a layup to cut it to 103-99 with 1:11 remaining.
Philadelphia's Ron Anderson scored on the rebound of a missed shot to make it 105-99 edge at 0:46.