Tim McCormick said it took perseverance for the Atlanta Hawks to extend their homecourt winning streak to 20 games - longest in the NBA this season.
It also took what is becoming commonplace at The Omni - another outstanding performance by Dominique Wilkins.Wilkins scored eight of his 31 points in the first 2:11 of the fourth quarter to rally the Hawks to a 96-88 victory over the Sacramento Kings Monday night. Wilkins also had a career-high 19 rebounds to help avoid a loss to the league's most unsuccessful road team.
It was the 24th road loss in a row for the Kings, who flirted with victory for three quarters.
"It's difficult to get up for every game," said McCormick, who had two baskets and two free throws in Atlanta's 18-3 run in the first six minutes of the final quarter, turning a 72-68 deficit into an 86-75 lead.
"We were a little flat tonight, but we had enough perseverance to stick with it. Fortunately, we pulled together and managed to get the win."
Wilkins opened the final quarter with a dunk, then converted a three-point play to give Atlanta the lead for good. After Sidney Moncrief hit a free throw, Wilkins barely beat the 24-second shot clock, launching a 24-footer that kissed off the glass through the net for a 3-point goal and a 77-72 lead with 9:49 to play.
"Dominique made some great shots for them," Sacramento's Lionel Simmons said. "One of them was lucky, but it counts."
Wilkins topped the 30-point mark for the eighth time in 11 games. He also had three assists and three steals.
"You have to have a love for the game to come out every night and play hard," Wilkins said. "I love to play. I just love to be out there."
The Hawks next try to do something about their road woes, going to Philadelphia on Wednesday night before returning home.
The Hawks have lost nine of their last 10 road games.
Kevin Willis scored 17 points and had 15 rebounds, while John Battle came off the bench to score 14 points for the Hawks.
Travis Mays led Sacramento with 24 points, Simmons had 20 and Antoine Carr, traded to the Kings by the Hawks last year, 19.
76ers 92, Lakers 90
At Philadelphia, Charles Barkley scored 18 points, including a game-winning layup with 5.2 seconds left, as the 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers for their fifth straight victory.
The lead changed hands eight times in the final 3:44, with Barkley's driving shot snapping a 90-90 tie. It was only the Lakers' third loss in their last 13 road games.
The Lakers twice inbounded the ball in the final 5 seconds, but a desperation shot by Magic Johnson was partially blocked and fell short as the game ended.
Suns 128, Hornets 108
At Phoenix, Tom Chambers scored 30 points and helped spark a decisive third-quarter rally as the Suns beat Charlotte for its 13th consecutive home victory.
Kevin Johnson finished with 23 points and 14 assists for the Suns, while Dan Majerle had 20 points, Jeff Hornacek 16 and Xavier McDaniel 15.
Phoenix has a 21-4 home record this season and hasn't lost at home since Dec. 21 - a 130-128 overtime defeat to San Antonio.
Rookie Kendall Gill scored a season-high 28 points and J.R. Reid had 24 for the Hornets, who lost their ninth straight road game.