The Denver Nuggets have made a season out of helping other teams get well, and Thursday night it was the New York Knicks' turn.
New York matched its largest margin of victory this season with a 135-108 romp over the Nuggets. Coming a night after New York was humiliated by Boston the win could have built confidence, but the Knicks are not that naive.The Knicks, who matched the 27-point spread set in a 106-79 victory over Philadelphia on Nov. 17, had suffered their worst defeat of the season Wednesday night - a 113-86 pounding at the hands of the Celtics.
Like other teams all season long, New York set more than one season mark against Denver. The Knicks' 135 points was a season high, as were their 42 assists and 40 defensive rebounds. Denver's 37.8 percent shooting from the field was the worst a team has shot against the Knicks this season.
New York was 55.9 percent from the floor.
Gerald Wilkins led New York with a season-high 25 points and six assists. Mark Jackson and Maurice Cheeks each handed out nine assists and Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley both had double-doubles.
Ewing scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and Oakley had 15 points and 12 boards.
The Knicks, 13-16, are 11-4 against teams with losing records, but are 2-12 against teams playing at least .500 ball.
And Denver was playing without three starters: Orlando Woolridge, who led the team in scoring in 17 of its first 21 games before he went down with a detached retina; Blair Rasmussen, who has a strained tendon in his right foot; and Todd Lichti, down with a sprained ankle.
Rockets 114, Bulls 92
At Houston, Akeem Olajuwon scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds before being knocked unconscious late in the third quarter, and Otis Thorpe finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Rockets. Olajuwon went down with 3:32 left in the third quarter after a battle for a rebound with Bulls center Bill Cartwright. He was carried off the court on a stretcher but regained consciousness and was nursing a black eye.
Michael Jordan had 32 for the Bulls, who had a five-game win streak snapped with their worst loss of the season.
Bucks 97, Mavericks 87
At Milwaukee, Ricky Pierce scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Bucks extend their home record to 16-0 and their overall winning streak to six. Jay Humprhies added 22 points and Alvin Robertson 19 for Milwaukee, which outscored the Mavericks 10-2 over the final 2:40.
Magic 110, Clippers 108
At Orlando, Scott Skiles scored 22 points, helping the Magic overcome a 13-point deficit in the third quarter. Otis Smith added 15 points for the Magic, nine coming in the second half as Orlando came back from an 87-74 deficit.
Bullets 118, Hornets 108
At Landover, Md., Bernard King scored 46 points and Harvey Grant added 27 to hand Charlotte its 13th loss in 14 games. King sank 17 of 24 field goal attempts and 12 of 15 from the line. Rex Chapman led the Hornets with 22 points.
Lakers 108, Trail Blazers 104
At Portland, James Worthy scored 30 points and Byron Scott hit three key baskets and a free throw down the stretch to hand the Trail Blazers their second straight loss. Los Angeles improved its record to 18-9, 6 1/2 games behind Portland, which fell to 27-5.
Kings 131, Warriors 113
At Sacramento, Antoine Carr tied a career high with 32 points and the Kings set four season highs while stopping a six-game losing streak. Sacramento's 131 points were a season high, as were its 34 assists, 38 points in a quarter and 72 points in a half. Golden State has lost four in a row.