The type of zone that Detroit's Dennis Rodman played in Wednesday night is not illegal in the NBA, although the Pacers probably wished it so.
"I was in a zone tonight," Rodman said. "I like that because when I'm in one of those zones I don't know who I am. I'm not anybody, I just play basketball."Rodman put forth an otherworldly performance to gather 19 points and 19 rebounds and score the first five points in a 15-0 fourth-quarter burst that carried the Pistons to a 102-93 victory over Indiana.
The Detroit forward had 15 points in the second half as the Pistons rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to post back-to-back victories for the first time since Feb. 18 and 20.
"You seldom see me take the ball to the hoop, especially in crunch time, but tonight was my night," said Rodman, who is less feared for his offensive threat (8.4 points per game) than his prowess on the boards (12.4 rebounds per outing).
Rodman started the Pistons' spurt with a drive to tie the score 76-76 with 8:12 left. He was fouled and missed the free throw, but grabbed his own rebound and converted a three-point play to put Detroit ahead 79-76. Mark Aguirre followed with three straight baskets and Joe Dumars capped the spurt with a baseline jumper with 5:09 left to put Detroit ahead 89-76.
"You can't compare Rodman with anybody in the league because there isn't anybody who plays like that," Pistons reserve Scott Hastings said. "You really respect him when you see how he hard he plays every day in practice. He's practices like he plays in games."
Indiana Coach Bob Hill hinted that a rule change might be the only way to defend against Rodman.
"Maybe if they let us play six guys we could keep him off the boards," Hill said. "He's just an incredible athlete."
Dumars led the Pistons with 23 points, Aguirre finished with 17 and James Edwards added 13. Chuck Person led the Pacers with 18 points, Detlef Schrempf had 17 and Reggie Miller finished with 16.
Magic 97, Mavericks 85
At Dallas, Jerry Reynolds scored 11 straight Orlando points in the fourth quarter to boost the Magic to their fourth straight victory. Orlando pulled even with the Mavericks in the Midwest Division standings by running its record over Dallas this season to 4-1. The Mavericks lost for the fourth consecutive game, allowing a 16-point lead in the second quarter to slip away while scoring just 34 points in the second half.
Trail Blazers 112, SuperSonics 107
At Tacoma, Wash., Clyde Drexler scored 26 points and Terry Porter sank the game-winning basket as the Trail Blazers rallied from a 24-point deficit. The Sonics still had a chance with Portland leading 110-107, but Shawn Kemp missed a desperation 24-footer with three seconds remaining and Porter made the final two points from the free-throw line. Portland had beaten the Sonics by 13 points on Tuesday night and swept the four-game series for the first time in history.