The Boston Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division title Friday night as Robert Parish hit a 10-footer at the buzzer to give them a 110-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Darnell Valentine tied the game 108-108 when he converted one of two free throws with 5.5 seconds left. After a Boston timeout, Larry Bird inbounded the ball from midcourt to Brian Shaw.Shaw got the ball to Parish near the foul line. Guarded closely by John Williams, who got a piece of the ball, Parish rushed his shot from the lane. The ball dropped through as the buzzer sounded.
The Celtics improved their record to 51-20 with 11 games left. Second-place Philadelphia is 39-32.
Boston was led by Reggie Lewis with 29 points, Parish with 25 points and 15 rebounds and Ed Pinckney with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
The Cavaliers, who have lost 29 of their last 30 games at Boston Garden, were led by Valentine, who had 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and Williams with 22 points.
Cleveland took its biggest lead of the fourth quarter on a layup by Valentine that made the score 102-95 with 3:47 left.
But Boston tied it with a 7-0 run on baskets by Lewis and Pinckney, one free throw by Parish and two by Larry Bird with 2:31 to go.
After Valentine and Parish traded baskets, Valentine followed with a layup, but Pinckney's free throws tied the game at 106 with 47 seconds remaining.
Williams gave Cleveland its last lead, 107-106, by making one of two foul shots with 22 seconds left. Then Bird sank two free throws, putting Boston on top 108-107 with 9.5 seconds to play.
The Cavaliers, who led 49-46 at halftime, played without center Brad Daugherty, their top scorer and rebounder. He sprained his right foot in Thursday night's win over Washington.
Bulls 112, Bullets 94
At Landover, Md., Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen scored 22 points each, and the Chicago Bulls overpowered Washington for their 12th victory in 14 games.
The Bulls won for only only the fourth time in 17 trips to the Capital Centre in Michael Jordan's seven-year career. The Capital Centre is the only arena in the league in which Jordan, who finished with 20 points, has not scored 36 or more points.
Washington was led for the third consecutive game by John Williams, who scored a game-high 27. Ledell Eackles had 21 for Washington, which saw its three-game homecourt winning streak broken.
76ers 124, Hornets 107
At Philadelphia, Hersey Hawkins scored 37 points and Charles Barkley added 26 as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Charlotte Hornets and clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Hawkins made 13 of 16 shots and made all nine of his free throws. Barkley, who returned from a one-game suspension for spitting on an 8-year-old fan Tuesday, was 11-for-13 from the floor and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Johnny Newman scored 23 points and Rex Chapman 22 for the Hornets, who defeated the 76ers 94-90 Thursday night.
Manute Bol blocked six shots for Philadelphia, giving him 202 for the season, a team record. Caldwell Jones held the previous record, 200 in the 1976-77 season.
Pistons 111, Warriors 105
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Mark Aguirre scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his first start in 13 games and the Detroit Pistons held off a late Golden State rally to post a victory over the Warriors.
Joe Dumars went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line to set a club record for consecutive free throws as the Pistons won their third straight game. Golden State, which trailed by 26 points early in the second half, dropped its fourth game in five outings.
Bill Laimbeer added 24 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit, Vinnie Johnson had 22 points and Dumars finished with 21. Dumars extended his string of consecutive free throws to 54, breaking the record of 51 straight set by John Long in 1984.
Tim Hardaway led the Warriors with 25 points and Chris Mullin tossed in 21.
Golden State used a 16-3 spurt at the end of the third quarter to whittle Detroit's 26-point lead to 87-75 going into the final period.
The Pistons led 72-46 after a pair of free throws by Aguirre 2:59 into the second half. Aguirre got the start when James Edwards was unable to play because of a sore back.