It was a wild Saturday night in Dallas, and when it was over, the Houston Rockets had established pro basketball supremacy in Texas.
The Rockets' Twin Towers, Akeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, scored 11 points in the second overtime to give the Rockets a 139-127 victory over the Mavericks.
During the long, stormy battle, referee Earl Strom called six technical fouls, including two each on Coach Dick Motta and scoring leader Mark Aguirre of the Mavericks.
The Dallas fans showed their displeasure when Motta was ejected in the fourth quarter by showering the floor with ice and other debris. Aguirre departed at halftime, picking up his second technical as the teams left the floor for the intermission.
The victory gave the Rockets a 3 1/2-game lead over the Mavericks in the battle for second place in the Midwest Division. Two more wins, and they will be assured of the best record among the three Texas NBA teams.
Although they were without Aguirre for half the game plus their coach for most of the final quarter and the 10 minutes of overtime, the Mavericks had many opportunities to win.
With the score tied at 112-112, Jay Vincent missed a 15-footer at the buzzer ending regulation play. In the first overtime, Brad Davis had the final shot. He chose to drive in close, and Olajuwon rejected it.
In the second overtime, each team scored a basket before the Rockets ran off 13 consecutive points, four by Olajuwon, to break open the game.
The Mavericks fired from long range most of the night. They made seven of 12 three-point shots. Brian Harper was 4 for 4 from outside.
Chicago 117, Atlanta 114--Michael Jordan and his teammates were deadly from the line (27 of 28) at Atlanta and virtually ended the Hawks' hopes of making the playoffs.
Jordan scored 33 points, making all nine free throws, and had seven rebounds and four assists to lead the Bulls.
Although Cleveland also lost, the Hawks, with only four games remaining, trail the Cavaliers by three games in the race for the final playoff spot in the East.
Dominique Wilkins led the Hawks with 30 points, but he missed a free throw and a short jump shot and was hit with a technical, all in the closing seconds to help account for the three-point difference.
Utah 105, Phoenix 94--Apparently nobody wants to face the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Whoever finishes eighth in the West is going to back into it.
In this game at Salt Lake City, the Suns, currently occupying the last playoff position, lost for the ninth time in the last 11 games.
The Suns (33-45) hold a two-game lead over Seattle with four games remaining. The injury-riddled Suns had only one regular, Kyle Macy, healthy enough to play.
New Jersey 108, Milwaukee 104--Micheal Ray Richardson and Buck Williams took charge at East Rutherford, N.J., and the Nets ended the Bucks' eight-game winning streak.
Richardson scored 22 points and had 12 assists. Williams also had 22 points, plus 13 rebounds. Albert King had 19 points, 7 in the fourth quarter to help the Nets pull away.
Indiana 121, Philadelphia 117--Vern Fleming sank two free throws with eight seconds left at Indianapolis to put an end to the Pacers' 12-game losing streak.
Clark Kellogg had a big game for the Pacers, scoring 35 points, on 15-of-20 shooting, and grabbing 16 rebounds.
Washington 109, Cleveland 101--The Bullets were deadly from the foul line at Landover, Md., sinking 31 of 32 attempts. This helped the Bullets stop the Cavaliers' six-game winning streak.
Jeff Malone, 10 for 10 from the line, scored 36 points as the Bullets ended a three-game losing streak.
Malone's outside shooting enabled the Bullets to build a 102-88 lead early in the final period.
Golden State 141, Kansas City 125--Purvis Short scored 42 points at Oakland as the Warriors virtually ended the Kings' playoff hopes. With four games left, the Kings trail Phoenix by three games for the final playoff berth in the West.