Rookie guard Kevin Gamble, who had scored 50 points in his entire NBA career, had 20 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as the Boston Celtics won their 14th consecutive home game with a 113-104 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night.
The victory improved Boston's record to 40-37 and gave it a two-game lead over Washington in the battle for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth. The Celtics also moved within two games of Philadelphia for the seventh spot.Kevin McHale led Boston with 25 points, Reggie Lewis had 24 and Robert Parish 21. But it was Gamble, getting a shot at his first pro start because Dennis Johnson was sidelined with a sprained ankle, who sparked the Celtics.
He had six points in a 10-0 run that gave Boston the lead for good. He had the last four points in the surge, making the score 76-73 with 3:19 left in the third quarter.
Hornets 119, 76ers 115
Kelly Tripucka scored 34 points and Robert Reid tallied 9 of his 20 in the final quarter, leading the Charlotte Hornets to a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Dell Curry added 23 points for Charlotte, which has won four of its last seven road games. The victory also marked the first time the Hornets had beaten one team three times this season.
Tripucka came off the bench and sank a 3-point basket to give the Hornets a 110-108 lead with 5:07 to play and Reid hit a jumper for a 112-108 advantage.
Nets 123, Bulls 111
Chris Morris scored five straight points to ignite a 15-2 third-quarter run and the New Jersey Nets beat Chicago, extending the Bulls' losing streak to a season-high five games.
New Jersey made 16 of 23 shots in the third quarter when it outscored Chicago 39-26, and the hot-shooting continued in the fourth quarter as the Nets made 9 of their first 11 and finished the second half 28 of 42.
Mike McGee added 25 points and Buck Williams had 20 as the Nets won for only the third time in 19 games. Morris finished with 17, while Michael Jordan of Chicago had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, the 14th time this season he's been in double figures in all three categories.
Mavericks 118, Spurs 110
Adrian Dantley scored 34 points and Roy Tarpley added 28 in his second game back since the end of a drug suspension, leading the Dallas Mavericks past the San Antonio Spurs.
Dallas kept its slim playoff hopes alive with the victory, improving to 35-43. A Dallas loss coupled with a Portland victory would have eliminated the Mavericks.
Knicks 104, Pistons 100
Patrick Ewing scored 32 points, including a go-ahead jumper with 59 seconds left, in the Knicks' fourth consecutive victory over the Pistons this season.
The Pistons, who lead Cleveland by 31/2 games in the races for the Central Division title and the NBA's best record, trailed 98-92 with 5:16 left. But they scored seven consecutive points and took the lead on a jumper with 1:12 left by Bill Laimbeer, who led Detroit with 19 points.
Ewing, who also had 15 rebounds, then put the Knicks ahead to stay with a baseline jumper. On Detroit's next possession, Isiah Thomas threw a pass directly to Trent Tucker, who took a return pass from Mark Jackson for a layup that made it 102-99 with 39 seconds left.