Kevin Johnson made a key steal with 22 seconds left, then sank two free throws to cap a 26-point, 12-assist performance that led the Phoenix Suns to a 113-109 victory over the Orlando Magic Saturday night.
Tom Chambers added 21 points and Xavier McDaniel had 17 points and nine rebounds in his debut for Phoenix, which needed two free throws from Jeff Hornacek with three seconds remaining to seal the outcome.Orlando, which rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to take a 95-90 lead in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Terry Catledge led the Magic with 30 points and 12 rebounds, but it was his turnover in the closing seconds that ruined the second-year team's chances for victory.
Phoenix, leading 109-108, relinquished possession on a shot-clock violation with 43 seconds to go. Orlando continued its patient approach on offense, but Johnson stripped the ball from Catledge with five seconds left on the shot clock and was fouled at the other end of the floor.
Nuggets 126, Hornets 119
At Charlotte, N.C., Orlando Woolridge scored 6 of his 33 points during a decisive 10-1 run late in the game, leading the Denver Nuggets to their first road win of the season, over the Charlotte Hornets.
Michael Adams added 25 points and 13 assists for the Nuggets, who snapped a four-game losing streak and won for only the fourth time in 19 games with their run-and-gun offense installed by new coach Paul Westhead. They are now 1-9 on the road.
Denver was leading only 109-107 when Woolridge, the NBA's leading scorer, took over. He hit three baskets during the 10-1 spurt as the Nuggets increased their advantage to 119-108 with 4:03 left in the game.
Todd Lichti and Walter Davis each scored 18 points for Denver and Blair Rasmussen finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Jerome Lane led all rebounders with 21.
Pacers 114, Cavaliers 99
At Indianapolis, Vern Fleming led a hot-shooting performance by the Indiana Pacers with a season-high 29 points in a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Fleming, who also had 11 assists, was 13-for-18 from the field, keying Indiana's 59.5 percent shooting. Reggie Miller added 24 points on 10-for-15 shooting and Detlef Schrempf scored 21 points on 9-for-12 shooting.
Larry Nance led the Cavaliers with 28 points, while Brad Daugherty had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Hawks 99, Knicks 86
At Atlanta, Dominique Wilkins scored 26 points and the Atlanta Hawks snapped a six-game home losing streak with a victory over New York on that kept the Knicks winless in three games under new coach John MacLeod.
It was the third loss in a row for the Knicks under John MacLeod, who replaced the fired Stew Jackson as coach last Monday.
Trail Blazers 109, Bulls 101
At Chicago, the Portland Trail Blazers improved their record to 18-1 - the second-best start by a team with one loss in NBA history - as Clyde Drexler scored 29 points in a 109-101 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
Terry Porter added 25 points for the Trail Blazers, who won their seventh consecutive game and improved their road record to 8-0. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak by the Bulls, who got 35 points from Michael Jordan and 20 from Scottie Pippen.
Jordan had 22 points at the break, while Porter had 14 and Drexler 12 for Portland. Both teams were shooting 51 percent from the field.