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.
The Phoenix point guard hit his crucial pair of free throws with 13 seconds remaining, then Hornacek added two more after Dennis Scott's foul shot trimmed the Suns' lead to 111-109.
Scott finished with 20 points for Orlando and Otis Smith had 18.
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.
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.
The Pacers, who led by as many as 19 points early in the fourth period, rallied from a 7-point deficit in the second period to outscore Cleveland 31-17 in the third quarter, taking an 86-69 advantage leading into the final 12 minutes.
After trailing for most of the first half, Indiana took the lead for good with 42 seconds remaining in the second period when Chuck Person connected on a free throw, giving the Pacers a 53-52 advantage. LaSalle Thompson followed with a layup with 17 seconds left to give Indiana a 55-52 lead at the half.
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.
It was the fifth consecutive loss on the road for the Knicks, who replaced Stu Jackson with MacLeod on Monday. Atlanta's victory also ended New York's three-game winning streak on the Hawks' floor.
Wilkins gave Atlanta a lead it never relinquished when broke an 8-8 tie 31/2 minutes into the game. The Hawks twice led by 16 points in the first quarter and the Knicks were never able to get closer than 6 the rest of the way.
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.
The Bulls, who trailed by 16 in the third period, closed to 91-90 with 5:44 left. But Chicago could not pull even down the stretch as Porter scored 11 points and Drexler 9 in the final period.
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.
Spurs 102, Celtics 96
At San Antonio, Texas, Willie Anderson scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half, rallying the San Antonio Spurs to a victory, their first over the Boston Celtics at HemisFair Arena in 11 years.
David Robinson had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs, who have won seven of eight home games this season. Rod Strickland and Sean Elliott scored 14 points each for San Antonio, which trailed 57-48 at the half.
But the Spurs held Boston to one field goal in the final six minutes of the third quarter, and David Greenwood's three-point play with 32 seconds left in the period gave the Spurs their first lead of the game at 75-74.
The Celtics, who won nine of their previous last 10 games, trailed 92-90 with 3:07 remaining after a basket by Brian Shaw, who led Boston with 23 points.
Rockets 113, Mavericks 107
At Dallas, Otis Thorpe had 28 points and 15 rebounds and Akeem Olajuwon added 24 points and 14 rebounds as the Houston Rockets handed the Dallas Mavericks their fifth consecutive defeat.
The Mavericks, losers of 10 of their last 12 games, trailed 107-103 with 2:26 to play on Rolando Blackman's two free throws, but Kenny Smith's 3-pointer from the corner with 1:07 to play put Houston in control.
Blackman and Derek Harper led Dallas with 30 points each, but it was not enough to overcome Houston's fifth victory in six starts.
Pistons 104, Kings 93
At Sacramento, Calif., Joe Dumars scored 17 points, leading seven Detroit Pistons in double figures as they broke a four-game losing streak with a victory over the Sacramento Kings.
James Edwards added 16 points and Isiah Thomas 15 for the Pistons, while Wayman Tisdale led the Kings with 24 points and Lionel Simmons scored 19.
The Pistons return home Tuesday night to face San Antonio after going 1-4 on the western road trip.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Kings, who haven't won three consecutive games since April 10-15, 1989 when they defeated Miami, Denver and Golden State.