As the gap at the top of the Eastern Conference playoff race got wider, the battle at the bottom stayed tight.
The Chicago Bulls defeated the Miami Heat 106-91 Tuesday night behind 39 points from Michael Jordan, increasing their lead to 21/2 games over Indiana and 3 1/2 over Miami.The New Jersey Nets dropped into a tie with Washington for the eighth spot by losing 79-78 at the buzzer to San Antonio, and the Orlando Magic fell a half-game behind the Nets and Wizards by losing 85-78 at New York.
Scottie Pippen added 19 points for the Bulls (46-16), who shot 54 percent in winning for the 12th time in 13 games.
Alonzo Mourning scored 21 points for Miami, whose road winning streak ended at 11 games.
Mourning elbowed Jordan in the head setting a screen early in the third quarter, but no foul was called. Mourning later elbowed Pippen while setting another screen, and Pippen got in Mourn-ing's face and threatened to slug the Miami center.
"(Mourning) can't get into my head and intimidate me," Jordan said. "He'll have to hit me harder than that."
"As you see, there's not much love," Jordan added. "I think a lot of it has to do with the way they approach the game. We have to be de-fi-ant, go out with our own objectives and do our jobs."
SPURS 79, NETS 78: David Robinson made a layup as time ran out as San Antonio sent visiting New Jersey to its sixth straight loss.
The Nets, who have lost four of those games by three points or few-er, went ahead 78-77 lead with 7.7 seconds left on two free throws by Chris Gatling.
Spurs rookie Tim Duncan then missed an 18-footer in the lane, but the rebound was knocked out of bounds by New Jersey with 1.1 seconds left. Chuck Person inbounded to Robinson, who powered past Michael Cage for the winning shot.
Robinson had 19 points, 16 rebounds and six of the Spurs' 15 blocks. San Antonio won despite scoring just 31 points in the second half.
KNICKS 85, MAGIC 78: At New York, Charlie Ward reached double figures in points and assists for the second straight game - and only the second time this season.
Ward had 10 points and 10 assists as the Knicks completed a sweep of the four-game season series and snapped a three-game losing streak that tied their longest of the season.
Larry Johnson led the Knicks with 19 points, and Charles Oakley grabbed 13 rebounds.
WIZARDS 93, BUCKS 77: Chris Webber scored 24 points and Rod Strickland had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in Washington's victory at Milwaukee.
ROCKETS 97, MAVERICKS 91: At Houston, Clyde Drexler scored 24 points and two players had strong games for the Rockets after returning from one-game suspensions.
Kevin Willis had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Hakeem Ola-ju-won had 13 points, eight rebounds and four stitches over his right eye after colliding with Cedric Ceballos.
SUPERSONICS 111, RAPTORS 93: Gary Payton scored 24 points and Dale Ellis 18 as Seattle improved its NBA-best record to 47-15, including 25-4 at the Key Arena.
SUNS 100, NUGGETS 76: At Denver, Antonio McDyess scored 18 points, Jason Kidd had 17 and Phoenix handed the Nuggets (5-58) their 16th straight loss.