Ralph Sampson scored 31 points, and Robert Reid added 23 as the Houston Rockets stretched their Midwest Division lead to 2 1/2 games over Denver with a 117-111 victory over the Nuggets Thursday night at Houston.
The Nuggets threatened to run away with the game by building a 76-64 edge with 7:17 left in the third quarter, but Houston regained the lead with a 21-7 surge.
Houston slashed Denver's lead to 81-80 on Lewis Lloyd's dunk and two free throws, tied the score on Reid's basket and went ahead, 85-83, on Lloyd's dunk.
Reid scored six of the first eight points, and Houston extended its lead to 113-104 with 2:36 left on Reid's three-point play.
Denver made a final futile run on three-pointers by Mike Evans and Bill Hanzlik to make it 115-111.
Alex English, the league's leading scorer, got 35 points for the Nuggets. He had 13 in the first quarter, when Denver scored 13 straight points to get the lead, and had 20 by halftime, when the Nuggets were ahead, 61-53.
Utah 109, Indiana 92--Adrian Dantley scored 36 points in 28 minutes as the Jazz downed the Pacers at Salt Lake City.
The victory was the fourth in a row for the Jazz, who climbed to the .500 mark at 30-30.
Dantley scored 23 points in the first half as Utah built a 59-43 lead.
The Pacers started the second half with a 15-4 run to climb back into the game at 65-62 with 6:35 left in the third quarter.
The Jazz countered with a 20-11 surge to regain control at 85-73 entering the final period and coasted the rest of the way.
Wayman Tisdale and Steve Stipanovich led the Pacers with 14 points each.
Washington 114, Golden State 102--Jeff Malone scored 33 points, including 10 of the Bullets' last 15, in a victory over the Warriors at Landover, Md.
The Warriors trailed, 79-72, with one minute remaining in the third quarter but scored the next eight points to take an 80-79 lead with 11:11 left in the game.
Washington scored the next six points to regain the lead and used an 11-0 run later in the period to put the game out of reach, 105-90, with 2:56 to play.
Joe Barry Carroll scored 30 points for the Warriors. Washington, which has won three of its last four games, got 21 points from Cliff Robinson.
Seattle 107, Portland 94--Jack Sikma had 20 points and 13 rebounds as the SuperSonics broke a four-game losing streak at Seattle by handing the Trail Blazers their 12th straight defeat.
The Blazers pulled within 91-88 with 3:46 left, but Sikma scored five points in the next two minutes to help Seattle open a 13-point lead.
Sikma, who was out two games after suffering a hyperextended right knee on Feb. 19, scored 14 points in the second half. Xavier McDaniel and Tom Chambers each added 19 points for the Sonics.