Michael Jordan scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half and Scottie Pippen added 21 to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 108-106 victory Saturday night over the stubborn Indiana Pacers.
Chicago has won eight of nine and is 64-14 overall, best in the NBA, and is 34-5 in Chicago Stadium.Baskets by Vern Fleming and Chuck Person to open the fourth quarter brought Indiana to within 82-80. But the Bulls got two baskets from Pippen and one from Stacey King for an 88-80 lead, their biggest of the quarter.
Detlef Schrempf, who scored 25 points, completed a three-point play with 3:45 to play to cut Chicago's lead to 102-101.
A basket by Pippen made it 104-101, but Michael Williams cut it to one again at 2:21.
John Paxson hit a 20-footer at 1:39, but Indiana was back within one when George McCloud made two free throws with 55 seconds to play.
Indiana had a chance to go ahead after Horace Grant's shot was blocked and the Pacers' Reggie Miller picked up the loose ball. But, after a timeout, Miller's shot was blocked by Jordan.
Heat 105, Magic 101
At Miami, Glen Rice scored 31 of his team record 46 points in the second half, leading Miami to victory over the Orlando Magic that kept the Heat's Eastern Conference playoff chances alive.
Miami, 37-42, trails New Jersey and Atlanta by a half-game for the eighth and final playoff spots from the East. The Nets, 119-98 losers at Atlanta on Saturday night, and Hawks both have four games remaining, one more than Miami.
Hawks 118, Nets 98
At Atlanta, Kevin Willis had 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Atlanta Hawks to victory over the New Jersey Nets, leaving the teams in a tie for the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta, which won 104-97 at New Jersey on Tuesday night, has beaten the Nets 18 consecutive times at The Omni. The teams have 37-41 records with four games to play.
Mavericks 99, Rockets 92
At Houston, Rolando Blackman scored 30 points and Rodney McCray had the fifth triple-double of his career as the Dallas Mavericks ended their club-record 26-game road losing streak with a victory over the Houston Rockets.
The loss prevented Houston from building on its half-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers lost, 93-90, to Utah on Saturday afternoon.
Kings 114, Timberwolves 94
At Sacramento, Calif., Lionel Simmons scored 26 points and all five Sacramento starters scored in double figures as the Kings rolled to victory over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves.
Wayman Tisdale added 21 points and Mitch Richmond had 16 for Sacramento, which led by 19 at halftime and expanded its cushion to as many as 30 points late in the third quarter.
Clippers 122, Nuggets 88
At Los Angeles, Charles Smith made all 10 of his shots and scored 29 points in the Los Angeles Clippers' romp over the Denver Nuggets.
The Clippers' 44th victory was the most since the franchise, then located in Buffalo and known as the Braves, won 46 games in 1976.
Ken Norman had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who have won four in a row in a bid for their first playoff berth in 16 years. They lead the Los Angeles Lakers by 31/2 games for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot with four games remaining for each team.
Warriors 134, Suns 125
At Oakland, Calif., Chris Mullin scored 33 points and the Golden State Warriors held off the Phoenix Suns in the fourth quarter to post a victory.
The victory, Golden State's third in five meetings with the Suns this season, gave the Warriors a 21/2-game lead on Phoenix in the race to be the third seed in the Western Conference behind division leaders Portland and Utah.
Jeff Hornacek scored 28 points, Kevin Johnson 26 and Jeff Majerle 22 for the Suns, who lost for the fourth time in five games.