Without a Bird on the wing, the high-flying Boston Celtics crashed, taking with them their 18-game home winning streak.
With forward Larry Bird grounded by a back injury, the Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors 110-105 Wednesday night. It was their first loss at Boston Garden since their second home game this season, a 120-100 setback against the Chicago Bulls."There's a big difference in the Celtics without Larry," said Golden State's Mitch Richmond, who had 26 points. "He would have been a big part of their game down the stretch."
The victory was Golden State's second straight at Boston Garden after 11 consecutive losses and its third in a row on the road. Boston is 19-2 at home this season.
Tim Hardaway's career-high 37 points and an inbounds violation by Boston's Kevin Gamble with 16.7 seconds left carried the Warriors to victory.
The Celtics (29-7) are 3-2 in the five games since Bird was sidelined indefinitely.
"Anytime you beat the Celtics playing on their court, it's big," said Chris Mullin, who added 16 points for the Warriors. "Mitch and Tim have been carrying us."
The Celtics lost their second straight game and dropped behind Portland (32-7) for the NBA's best record.
Bulls 99, Magic 88
Michael Jordan had 29 points and Chicago held Orlando to one basket in the first seven minutes of the final period, extending its winning streak to seven games.
Jordan struggled from the field - hitting only 11 of 27 shots - but his jumper with 1:28 fueled a 9-0 run at the end that enabled the Bulls to beat the Magic at Orlando Arena for the first time in three tries.
Cavaliers 108, Heat 94
Brad Daugherty took advantage of Miami's outmanned frontcourt and scored 22 points as Cleveland ended an 11-game losing streak.
The Heat, losing for the sixth time in eight games, is without center Rony Seikaly, out since late December with a sprained knee.
Timberwolves 93, Knicks 89
Sam Mitchell scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Minnesota won its third straight road game.
The expansion Timberwolves, who had never before won consecutive road games until they beat Orlando and Miami last week, handed the Knicks their 12th loss in 20 home games, matching their number of defeats at Madison Square Garden last season.
Spurs 100, Mavericks 94
David Robinson scored 30 points and Rod Strickland 21 as surging San Antonio rallied to beat reeling Dallas, which scored just nine fourth-quarter points.
Dallas led by as many as 19 points late in the third quarter on 90 percent shooting in the period. But San Antonio, winning for the 16th time in 20 games, held Dallas without a basket for the first 6:11 of the final quarter during a 16-1 surge that tied the game at 86. A subsequent 8-0 run by the Spurs iced it.
Bucks 126, Pacers 119
Jay Humphries scored 33 points and Ricky Pierce 31 as Milwaukee beat Indiana to snap a four-game losing streak with its 19th victory in 20 home games this season.
Reggie Miller led the Pacers, now 2-17 on the road, with 26 points. He made six 3-point baskets.
Nuggets 111, Hornets 104
Walter Davis made 13 of 13 free throws, including eight in the final 1:18, and finished with 31 points, leading Denver over hapless Charlotte.
It was only the third victory for the Nuggets in 17 games. The Hornets lost their third straight game and 17th in 20.
Bullets 101, Clippers 99
Bernard King had 32 points and Ledell Eackles 20, including two decisive free throws with 2.4 seconds left, as Washington continued its dominanace of Los Angeles.
King scored 19 points in the second half as the Bullets won for the ninth time in 13 games, beating the Clippers for the 11th time in 12 meetings.