The San Antonio Spurs are peaking. Just ask the man at their summit, David Robinson.
"We are starting to play with a lot more confidence," Robinson said after the Spurs' fourth consecutive victory and ninth in 10 games, 115-105 over Golden State on Monday night. "We are as good right now as we have ever been."That's good enough for a 1 1/2-game lead in the Midwest Division over Houston. It also was too good for the Warriors, who are the Spurs' likely first-round playoff opponent.
San Antonio used a 21-4 fourth-quarter rally. The Spurs got 26 points from Sean Elliott, 24 from Robinson and 20 from Terry Cummings.
In other games, it was Seattle 118-112 over Denver for K.C. Jones' 500th career coaching victory; Atlanta 105-94 over Washington; and Utah 111-95 over Orlando.
Golden State led 83-79 with 10:32 to play when San Antonio erupted. The Spurs limited the Warriors to just two field goals over the next six minutes, pulling out to a 100-87 lead.
"That was playoff basketball," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "I thought we played very well. I've always said if we play hard and intense and lose, I don't have a problem with that."
Chris Mullin led the Warriors with 20 points, one more than Tim Hardaway. Mitch Richmond added 16.
"The difference was they tightened up the defense when they had to and made the big plays at crunch time," Mullin said.
They also had a huge edge at the foul line, making 37 of 41 to Golden State's 13 of 18.
SuperSonics 118, Nuggets 112
At Seattle, Jones became the 14th coach in NBA history to win 500 games as the SuperSonics won for the fifth time in six games. Jones, in his first season as coach of the Sonics, previously coached the Washington Bullets and Boston Celtics.
The Sonics swept the season series from the Nuggets 4-0 and moved within one win of clinching the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Shawn Kemp scored five points in a 19-2 run as the Sonics erased a 101-97 Denver lead early in the fourth quarter. Rickey Pierce, Eddie Johnson and Benoit Benjamin led the Sonics with 19 points apiece.
Orlando Woolridge led the Nuggets with 27 points and Adams added 19.
Hawks 105, Bullets 94
At Atlanta, the Hawks handed the Bullets their fifth straight road loss and 13th in 14 games. Duane Ferrell had a career-high 20 points for the hosts, who were led by Atlanta's Dominique Wilkins with 29 points.
Pervis Ellison's 26 points were tops for the Bullets. Eackles finished with 18 points and Tom Hammonds and John Williams added 14 each.