If the NBA Midwest title was decided by referendum rather than competition, Minnesota Timberwolves coach Bill Musselman would vote for the San Antonio Spurs.
"They're the best team," he said.And if he were to elect an outstanding player in a division full of outstanding players, Musselman might just have to check the box next to the name of David Robinson.
"The Admiral" had 29 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks and made the game-winning play Sunday in San Antonio's 92-87 victory over the Timberwolves. Robinson drew eight personal fouls on Minnesota centers Randy Breuer and Felton Spencer, who combined for 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Robinson is normally a handful for any opponent but he has been especially tough lately as San Antonio closes in on the division title. Sunday's victory, the Spurs' eighth in nine games since March 22, gave them a one-game lead over Houston and two-game edge over Utah.
Robinson is averaging 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.6 blocks the last eight games. In the last four, he's averaging 32.8 points, 16.3 rebounds and 4.3 blocks.
Money player? Robinson capped his 14-point fourth quarter Sunday with a three-point play that gave San Antonio an 88-85 lead with 1:26 to go.
Spurs coach Larry Brown said there is no limit to what might be accomplished by the 7-1 Robinson, an All-America selection at the Naval Academy who couldn't enter the NBA until last season because of his military commitment.
Spencer, the Timberwolves' first-round draft choice this year, tried to respond to the challenge Sunday. He had nine points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench.
Even though the Timberwolves lost for the seventh time in eight games since March 23, they felt they played well against the Spurs, who reached the 50-victory plateau with eight games to play. Minnesota has 51 losses.
Clippers 119, Kings 109
It's been a long road to the NBA record book for the Sacramento Kings, a trip coach Dick Motta won't discuss for obvious reasons.
"I'm not talking about the streak," he said after the Kings tied the league record for consecutive road defeats at 34 in a 119-109 loss Sunday night to the Los Angeles Clippers. "I'm going to say the same thing until we win one."
That won't be for at least another week. The Kings, just 1-37 on the road this season - they beat Washington 87-82 on Nov. 20 - won't wear their road blues again until April 15 at Minnesota.
They'll try to leave the Twin Cities that night still sharing their record of misery with the New Jersey Nets. New Jersey lost its final 28 road games of last season and its first six of this before beating Phoenix 116-114 on Nov. 23.
Trail Blazers 110, Mavericks 92
Clyde Drexler and Jerome Kersey combined for 10 consecutive points during a clinching fourth-quarter surge as Portland won its 10th straight game.
The Trail Blazers, who have the NBA's best record, won their seventh straight road game and set a club mark with their 25th overall road victory. Portland also matched its second-longest overall winning streak.
Lakers 93, Suns 85
Magic Johnson scored 31 points, leading Los Angeles to its fifth straight victory.
Injury-riddled Phoenix, playing without Tom Chambers, Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle, pulled to 80-77 with 6:20 remaining. But the Lakers scored nine of the next 11 points to draw away, sending the Suns to their third straight defeat.
Kevin Johnson and Majerle were injured in a loss Thursday to the Lakers and Chambers in a setback Friday to Golden State. The trio has been averaging 56.4 points and Kevin Johnson 10.3 assists.
James Worthy added 21 points and Byron Scott 20 for Los Angeles. Rookie Negele Knight scored a career-high 25 points and Jeff Hornacek 20 for visiting Phoenix.
SuperSonics 124, Nuggets 117
Eddie Johnson scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half as visiting Seattle wore down shorthanded Denver.
Denver's Michael Adams made all 17 of his foul shots, the third-highest total ever without a miss. The record of 19 is shared by Bob Pettit, Bill Cartwright and Adrian Dantley.
Johnson made 15 of 16 free throws and teammate Ricky Pierce 12 of 12.
Cavaliers 102, Hornets 100
John Williams tipped in a missed shot by Brad Daugherty with three seconds left as Cleveland edged Charlotte for the second time in three days.
Charlotte had a chance to win after the tip-in, but Rex Chapman was called for charging Craig Ehlo as time expired in a virtual rerun of the closing seconds of the Hornets' three-point loss Friday night.