David Robinson keyed San Antonio's drive to a 56-win season last year. If the Spurs are to advance to the next level, young players like Sean Elliott and Rod Strickland will have to produce.
On Tuesday night, Robinson was thoroughly outplayed by New York's Patrick Ewing, but Elliott and Strickland came through as the Spurs beat the Knicks 129-119 in overtime.Elliott scored a career-high 34 points and made some key plays in overtime, while Strickland had 21 points and 16 assists and veteran forward Sidney Green had a season-high 19 points.
"Sean Elliott, Sidney Green and Rod won the game for us," Spurs coach Larry Brown said. "Patrick is a tough man to stop and I think he frustrated David. But Sean came up with the big plays."
"I just got into a comfortable groove and the points came," Elliott said. I've known all along I could do it. It was a matter of getting the shots off."
Ewing had 37 points, nine rebounds and six blocked shots for the Knicks. Robinson fouled out with 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
Trail Blazers 126, SuperSonics 113
Seattle, trailing by 27 points at Portland, closed within three before the Trail Blazers prevailed behind Clyde Drexler's 30 points.
The Trail Blazers, leading the Pacific Division by one game with their 50th victory in 68 games, took a 99-80 advantage into the final period, but Ricky Pierce scored 10 of his 21 points during a 31-15 spurt that closed the SuperSonics to 114-111 with 1:58 left.
Suns 117, Timberwolves 95
Phoenix won at home to improve its record to 8-0 against Minnesota, which has beaten every Western Conference team except the Suns.
Kevin Johnson had 27 points and 10 assists for Phoenix, while Xavier McDaniel scored 22 points while Mark West had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Nets 98, 76ers 95, OT
New Jersey won for the fourth time in five starts at the Meadowlands as Mookie Blaylock scored six of his 25 points in overtime and Derrick Coleman had 23 points and 13 rebounds against Philadelphia.
Charles Barkley had 32 points and 17 rebounds for the 76ers, who forced overtime on Hersey Hawkins' layup with 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
Hornets 97, Warriors 94
At Charlotte, Rex Chapman led the Hornets to their biggest comeback in team history, rallying from 20 points down against Golden State.
The Warriors led 82-62 late in the third period and entered the fourth quarter with an 83-70 lead. But Golden State made just four of 19 shots in the final 12 minutes and was outscored 27-11 in the quarter.
Pacers 123, Hawks 113
Chuck Person scored 10 of his 24 points in the final 3:48 and Detlef Schrempf had 16 points, a career-high 12 assists and 11 rebounds for Indiana against Atlanta.
Reggie Miller also scored 24 points for the Pacers, who improved their record at home to 25-10. Dominique Wilkins led the Hawks with 34 points, and Kevin Willis scored 21.
Heat 104, Cavaliers 98
Miami snapped an eight-game losing streak, winning at home behind Kevin Edwards' 28 points and Grant Long's four free throws in the final 34 seconds against Cleveland.
The Cavaliers, who suffered their first loss in 10 games against the Heat, had the ball trailing 99-96 in the final minute before Edwards knocked the ball away from John Morton and Long scored his only four points of the game on Miami's next two possessions.