Michael Jordan was on his way to delivering the fourth consecutive victory for the Chicago Bulls on clutch free throws in the closing seconds.
But after the star guard sank two shots from the line to give the Bulls a 122-119 lead with seven seconds left Saturday night at Chicago, Isiah Thomas spoiled the celebration.
Thomas, with just two seconds left, sank a three-point bomb to send the game into overtime, and Adrian Dantley took it from there to give the Detroit Pistons a 144-132 victory.
Dantley scored six of his 45 points in the five-minute extra session. The Pistons jumped in front in overtime on baskets by John Salley and Dennis Rodman and the Bulls were never in it again.
Dantley wasn't even the high scorer. Jordan had 49 before he fouled out halfway through the overtime.
It climaxed a sensational week for the amazing Jordan. Tuesday night, he scored 11 points in the last six minutes and the Bulls won, 105-101. Wednesday night he scored eight points in the last 2 1/2 minutes and they won, 84-82. Friday night, he made two free throws to give the Bulls a 94-92 lead, then blocked Dominique Wilkins' jumper to save the victory.
In the loss, he had 6 steals, 6 rebounds and 8 assists to go with his 49 points.
Atlanta 104, Houston 94--Coach Mike Fratello patiently waited for Kevin Willis to return to the form that helped make the Hawks a powerhouse last season.
Finally, in the ninth game of the new season, the 7-0 power forward, joined the club. Willis score a season-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds at Atlanta.
Willis' performance took the play away from the Rockets' twin towers----Akeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson. Olajuwon had 17 points and six rebounds, Sampson 10 points and nine rebounds.
However, the Rockets led, 82-77, going into the final quarter. But Willis and Dominique Wilkins each scored six points in a 17-2 spurt that broke it open.
Boston 107, New Jersey 97--Darren Daye is by no means a Larry Bird. But the former UCLA player is doing an outstanding job of filling in for the ailing superstar.
Daye scored 15 of his career-high 27 points in the first half at East Rutherford, N.J., as the Celtics built an 11-point lead and made it stand up.
The Celtics are 2-1 since Bird went out with sore Achilles tendons in both ankles and Daye has been instrumental in both of them. He won the first with a tip-in at the buzzer of the second overtime.
The Celtics battled back from a humiliating, 31-point loss Friday night at Philadelphia.
It is not known when Bird will return. The Celtics keep saying he is getting better.
Cleveland 101, Philadelphia 88--Charles Barkley came into this game at Richfield, Ohio, as the fourth best scorer (27.7 point average) and the most accurate shooter (70%).
Tyrone Corbin came off the bench to torment the bulky 6-6 forward and score a career-high 23 points in 32 minutes. Barkley had only 16 points and was only 4 for 14 from the field.
"He's a good little player," Barkley said of Corbin, who is 6-6. "I've got to give the guy credit."
San Antonio 120, Utah 119--Alvin Robertson calmly sank two free throws with six seconds left at San Antonio and give the Spurs a three-point lead.
Utah, which lost its fifth road game in a row, missed tying it when Bob Hansen's bomb at the buzzer was ruled a two-pointer because his foot was touching the three-point line.
New York 99, Golden State 91--In a meeting of the teams with the worst records in the NBA, the Knicks (2-7) prevailed at New York.
Kenny Walker scored 21 points and the Warriors (1-9) lost their sixth in a row.
Seattle 124, Washington 103--Xavier McDaniel scored 28 points at Seattle to lead the SuperSonics. The Bullets lost their fourth in a row despite 26 points for Bernard King and 24 for Moses Malone.
Russ Schoene came off the bench to score 15 points in the fourth quarter for Seattle.
Dallas 103, Sacramento 96--Derek Harper scored 27 points and Mark Aguirre 26 to lead the Mavericks to victory at Sacramento. The Mavericks, who rallied late to scare the Lakers Friday night, jumped in front early and outlasted the Kings.