John MacLeod's 700th NBA coaching victory was worth the wait.
The New York Knicks should have made MacLeod's milestone easy - they led by nine points with 2:09 left in regulation. They blew that lead, though, and had to go two overtimes before finally beating the Miami Heat 125-121 Thursday night."I know other coaches who have been stuck on a milestone and needed five or six games to get it," said MacLeod, who became the eighth coach in NBA history to win 700 games. "I guess it can't be easy."
Actually, MacLeod's win was never in jeopardy once the game went past regulation. New York is 6-0 in overtime this season.
MacLeod, 700-646 in his 18th season as an NBA coach, saw the Knicks overcome a season-high 28 turnovers to improve their record to 32-32, the first time they've been at .500 since they were 6-6 on Nov. 27. New York has won 10 of 11 games, including two season-high five-game winning streaks, since Feb. 23.
"I'll take 10 victories in 11 games any time over my 700th victory," MacLeod said. "I wasn't thinking about 700 victories. I was worried about how to stop these guys. But I won't forget No. 1 and I'll never forget this one."
New York's largest lead was 82-70 early in the fourth period, and it still had a 97-88 advantage with 2:09 to go.
But Willie Burton and Kevin Edwards each hit a 3-pointer in the final 26 seconds and Long's steal with seven seconds left led to Sherman Douglas' tying layup with 1.4 seconds to go.
Douglas, who finished with 33 points, then missed a free throw that would have won it.
"All I wanted to do was hit that foul shot, but that's history now," Douglas said. "In the overtimes, I wanted to make up for that, but it didn't happen."
Patrick Ewing scored New York's first seven points of the second overtime, including a go-ahead free throw with 49 seconds left, and finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Gerald Wilkins scored a season-high 27 points for the Knicks and Kiki Vandeweghe had 23, including two free throws at the end of the first overtime that tied the score 115-115. Charles Oakley had 16 points and 20 rebounds.
Cavaliers 103, Bucks 101
Craig Ehlo won a fourth-quarter shootout with Milwaukee rookie Steve Henson to lead the Cavaliers past the visiting Bucks.
Ehlo put Cleveland ahead for good with two straight 3-point shots, then sank a clinching 18-foot jumper with 16 seconds left. Henson scored all of his career-high 16 points during the final period.
Larry Nance led Cleveland with 31 points, and Brad Daugherty added 23 and grabbed 13 rebounds. The loss was Milwaukee's fifth in seven games.
Nets 118, Pistons 110
The Nets ended three years of frustration against the visiting Pistons as Reggie Theus scored nine of his 25 points in a 23-8 second-quarter spurt that gave New Jersey the lead for good.
The two-time defending NBA champion Pistons had won 13 straight games against New Jersey since Jan. 30, 1988. The injury-riddled Pistons now have lost 8 of 11 and 12 of their last 19 in their worst slump since 1985-86, when they lost 10 of 11. Detroit is 12-12 since Isiah Thomas injured his right wrist and underwent surgery in January.
Derrick Coleman had 20 points and 10 rebounds for New Jersey, while Mookie Blaylock had 18 points, eight rebounds and seven steals. James Edwards and Joe Dumars each had 21 points and Vinnie Johnson had 20 for Detroit.
Rockets 119, Magic 95
The Rockets kept soaring at The Summit as Kenny Smith scored 13 of his 22 points in the third quarter, sparking an 18-6 run, to lead Houston over Orlando for its ninth win in 10 games.
Buck Johnson led Houston with a season-high 26 points while Maxwell had 15 points and a career-high 13 assists. Akeem Olajuwon - returning to the starting lineup for the first time since Jan. 4 - had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Nuggets 112, Timberwolves 105
Denver's bench made the difference against the Timberwolves as Jim Farmer had 20 of the Nuggets' 40 points by non-starters against visiting Minnesota.
Minnesota's starters, led by Tony Campbell's 32 points and 23 by Pooh Richardson, outscored Denver's 98-72. But Denver's reserves outscored the Timberwolves' 40-7 as the Nuggets won consecutive games for the first time since Jan. 31-Feb. 2.
Spurs 101, Warriors 99
David Robinson had 29 points and 17 rebounds as San Antonio survived its own foul-shooting problems in the last half-minute to beat Golden State at Oakland.
Chris Mullin led the Warriors with 28 points, while Hardaway added 18 points and 10 assists. Sean Elliott scored 20 for the Spurs, who committed 24 turnovers.
Pacers 107, Kings 103
Detlef Schrempf scored 23 points and visiting Indiana withstood a furious fourth-quarter rally to hold off Sacramento.
Antoine Carr scored 26 points for Sacramento, which shot 65 percent in the fourth quarter. Lionel Simmons added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings.