While the Los Angeles Lakers head up, the Portland Trail Blazers head down. And the Sacramento Kings head way down.
The Lakers ended Portland's season-long reign atop the NBA's Pacific Division on Tuesday night with a 119-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Trail Blazers lost 136-126 at Golden State, their eighth loss in 11 games.But Sacramento really knows how to lose. The Kings set an NBA single-season record with their 29th consecutive road loss, falling at San Antonio 104-101.
"I don't want to talk about the . . . record," Kings coach Dick Motta said. "You all . . . perpetuate this thing. I've already talked about the record enough."
Sacramento, which clinched a playoff spot, pulled to 100-99 on Rory Sparrow's 3-pointer with 20.8 seconds left. The Spurs then converted four free throws in the final 17.3 seconds, with Robinson, who finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds, making the last two with 1.6 seconds remaining.
The Kings' mark of futility topped the record they shared with the New Orleans Jazz of 1974-75 and the New Jersey Nets of last season. The all-time record for consecutive road losses is 34 set by New Jersey, which lost its final 28 outings of last season and its first six of this one.
"I never thought about the record," Antoine Carr of the Kings said. "Those are types of things for guys to use in some trivia game. There will be other teams to come in after us and break it. It may be a long time, but it will happen."
Lakers 119, Clippers 105
At Inglewood, Calif., James Worthy scored 26 points as the Lakers swept the four-game season series from the Clippers and extended their home-court winning streak against their crosstown rivals to 27 games.
Magic Johnson added 18 points and 11 assists - and didn't even play the fourth quarter - as the Lakers won for the fifth consecutive time and the 29th in their last 36 games. The Lakers trailed Portland by 81/2 games on Jan. 8, but the following night began a 16-game winning streak, the second-longest in club history.
Byron Scott also scored 18 points for the Lakers, who led 51-40 at halftime and extended it to 76-56 with a 13-2 third-quarter run capped by Johnson's layup with 3:53 left.
Warriors 136, Trail Blazers 126
At Oakland, Calif., Mitch Richmond made his first 13 shots and finished with 40 points for Golden State, which won for the fifth time in seven games.
The Warriors shot 71 percent in the first half (32-for-45), taking a 29-point lead.
Tim Hardaway scored 29 points and added 12 assists for Golden State, which went 2-3 against Portland this year. Chris Mullin scored 26 points.
Jerome Kersey scored 35 points for the Blazers and Drexler added 30.
Rockets 98, Timberwolves 85
At Minneapolis, Houston got 25 points and eight blocked shots from Hakeem Olajuwon and tied a franchise record with its ninth consecutive victory.
The Rockets matched the record of the 1976-77 team, which went 9-0 to begin March of that season. Olajuwon scored Houston's first seven points - he had 13 in the first period - and the Rockets never trailed.
Olajuwon made 11 of 15 shots and had 14 rebounds. Kenny Smith added 20 points for Houston.
Knicks 97, Hornets 79
At Charlotte, N.C., Patrick Ewing overcame early foul trouble and scored 25 of his 41 points in the second half as New York won for the 10th time in 12 games.
Ewing, who had three fouls in the first half, totally dominated inside in the second. He scored 12 points in the third quarter and 13 in the fourth.
He made 18 of 25 shots, was 5 for 5 from the free throw line and led the Knicks with eight rebounds. He did not commit a foul in the second half.
Hawks 104, Celtics 92
At Atlanta, Spud Webb scored six points and Glenn Rivers five in a 19-6 fourth-quarter burst that created an 18-point lead for the Hawks.
The victory snapped a three-game homecourt losing streak for the Hawks, who had won a franchise-record 22 in a row in The Omni before the recent skid.
Bucks 101, Heat 88
At Milwaukee, Dale Ellis scored 17 of his 29 points in the first half as Milwaukee swept the four-game season series and sent the Heat to their fifth consecutive loss.
Ellis scored six points in an 8-0 run at the start of the second quarter as the Bucks took control. They led 48-43 at halftime.