James Worthy gave himself and his Laker teammates a fond bon voyage.
With Worthy emerging from a shooting slump to score 22 of his 30 points after halftime, Los Angeles moved to within 3 1/2 games of front-running Portland with a 106-96 victory over the Trail Blazers Sunday night.Magic Johnson contributed 24 points and 16 assists for the Lakers, who certainly did not want to begin an upcoming six-game road trip on the heels of consecutive Forum losses to Boston and Portland.
"This was a huge game for us, a momentum game," Los Angeles Coach Mike Dunleavy said.
Worthy made just 4 of 13 shots as the Lakers trailed 39-37 at half. But the 6-foot-9 All-Star forward hit 10 of 13 attempts in the second half while scoring 16 points in a decisive 30-10 run.
"We tried some different offensive plays, different motions (after intermission)," said Worthy. "Our post-up game wasn't doing the job. We tried setting some picks and that got us some things."
The Trail Blazers, owners of the NBA's best record of 41-10, fell to Los Angeles for the second time in three games this year. Portland forward Jerome Kersey did not play for a second straight game because of an injured calf.
The Trail Blazers then lost Mark Bryant to an apparent ankle injury late in the second quarter. And to make matters worse, Cliff Robinson, who started for Kersey, and center Kevin Duckworth spent much of the second half in foul trouble.
Bullets 108, Cavaliers 104
In Baltimore, rookie A.J. English scored a career-high 31 points and had 10 assists to lead the Washington Bullets past the Cleveland Cavaliers. Washington broke a three-game losing streak and stopped the Cavaliers' winning streak at three. English hit 12 of 20 shots and played all 48 minutes. He was backed by Bernard King with 25 points and Ledell Eackles with 20. For Cleveland, Larry Nance scored 27 points.
Knicks 116, Pistons 88
In New York, Patrick Ewing scored 28 points and Kiki Vandeweghe added 20 Sunday to lead the New York Knicks to a rout of Detroit, the fourth loss in six games for the Pistons. Charles Oakley grabbed 16 rebounds for New York, with reserves Mark Jackson contributing 11 assists and Jerrof Mustaf 12 points. Vinnie Johnson led Detroit with 23 points.
Pacers 113, Kings 110
In Indianapolis, Micheal Williams and Rik Smits each scored 22 points in Indiana's win over Sacramento, extending the Kings' NBA road losing streak to 19 games. Reggie Miller added 21 points for Indiana, which also got 18 points and 12 rebounds from Detlef Schrempf. Lionel Simmons scored 29 for the Kings. The Kings are 1-22 on the road this season. They have not won at Indiana since 1986.
Bucks 111, Magic 103
In Orlando, Fla., Alvin Robertson scored seven of his nine points in overtime and Dan Schayes collected five of his game-high 26 points at the free-throw line in the extra period to boost the Milwaukee Bucks to a come-from-behind victory over Orlando. Scott Skiles and Otis Smith both finished with 20 points for the Magic.
Celtics 126, Nuggets 108
At Denver, Larry Bird scored 17 of his 24 points in the first quarter to help the Boston Celtics to their seventh straight win overall and fourth in a row on a five-game road trip. The Nuggets have lost five straight. Kevin Gamble added 21 points and Reggie Lewis 17 for Boston. Orlando Woolridge scored 23 points, Chris Jackson 20 And Reggie Williams 19 for Denver.
76ers 114, Clippers 104
In Los Angeles, Charles Barkley and Hersey Hawkins scored 24 points apiece, helping the Philadelphia 76ers snap a three-game losing streak. Reserve Ron Anderson chipped in with eight of his 17 points in the final quarter and Armon Gilliam followed with 14 for the Sixers. Danny Manning scored 21 points and Ken Norman added 19 off the bench for the Clippers, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.