The All-Star break is a time for reflection over the first half of the NBA season, and New York Coach John MacLeod had a distasteful assessment of his team.
"I'm embarrassed, I'm embarrassed, I'm embarrassed," MacLeod said Thursday night after the Knicks rolled over 117-101 to the Boston Celtics. "I don't have the answers. If I had the answers I'd give them to you, so I have nothing to say."The Knicks enter the All-Star break in shambles, owning an almost perverse 10-14 record at home and a 20-27 mark overall. They had entered the season with hopes of challenging in the Eastern Conference, but may spend the rest of the season in a battle to stay out of the lottery.
"I told them they have two things to do," MacLeod said. "They can make up their minds to come back and play in the second half or they can not. It's up to them. Yelling doesn't do any good now. We've yelled, we've gotten mad, we've gotten upset. It's up to them to determine what kind of ballclub they want."
The Celtics enter the break as one of the success stories in the league. Always expected to challenge, Boston nonetheless owns a 35-12 mark and the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference.
Bullets 124, Nets 117
At Landover, Md., All-Star starter Bernard King scored 29 of his 47 points in the first half and spearheaded a fourth-quarter surge to pace Washington. The defeat was the Nets' seventh straight.
Rockets 96, Cavalers 92
At Richfield, Ohio, Buck Johnson scored 22 points and David Wood sank a three-pointer with 19.7 seconds left to lift Houston. The Rockets have won seven of their last eight games and are 10-8 without Akeem Olajuwon. Larry Nance led Cleveland with 23 points.
Hawks 127, Hornets 114
At Atlanta, Moses Malone came off the bench to score a season-high 25 points, sending Atlanta to its 16th straight home victory, one shy of the club record. Rex Chapman scored 25 points and Kendall Gill added 24 for Charlotte.
Chicago 95, Detroit 93
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Michael Jordan scored 10 of his 30 points in the final 2:13 for Chicago. The victory was the Bulls first in their last 12 games in Detroit, including six playoff encounters. Chicago moved ahead of Detroit in the Central Division by percentage points, but still is a half-game behind the Pistons in the standings.
Magic 108, Timberwolves 103
At Orlando, Fla., Scott Skiles scored 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Magic. Pooh Richardson finished with 30 points to lead the Timberwolves.
Spurs 118, Pacers 108
At San Antonio, Paul Pressey scored 7 points in a 9-2 run that put San Antonio in front late in the third quarter. David Robinson scored 35 points and Sean Elliott had a career-high 30 to fuel the Spurs. The Pacers were led by Detlef Schrempf with 21 points and Reggie Miller with 20.
Mavericks 102, Warriors 101
At Dallas, Rolando Blackman sank five straight free throws down the stretch for the Mavericks, the last two coming with eight seconds remaining. The lead changed hands 17 times, the last coming when Blackman was fouled by Mitch Richmond and made the final two free throws.