The Dallas Mavericks, after folding up in the playoffs last spring and losing Coach Dick Motta, figured to be somewhat of a mystery this season.
When they lost three of their first five games under new Coach John MacLeod, it didn't seem likely they would repeat last season, the best in their history.
Suddenly, though, Mark Aguirre and Sam Perkins started giving the Mavericks solid play up front and the victories began piling up.
Perkins had 21 points and Aguirre 20 Sunday night at Milwaukee and the Mavericks trounced the Bucks, 113-99, to extend their winning streak to five games.
The Mavericks' 12-5 record is the best in the Western Conference and they lead the Midwest Division by a full game over Denver.
It was an even game for three quarters, tied, 70-70. But, Perkins scored 11 of the Mavericks' 43 points in the last quarter. When Derek Harper scored 10 in the last three minutes, it became a rout.
The Bucks stayed close despite horrible shooting. The shot 37% in the first half and only 41% for the whole game.
Atlanta 106, Sacramento 100--When he scored 45 points at Oakland Friday night to lead the Hawks to victory, Dominique Wilkins declared he was fully recovered from an aggravating toe injury.
In this game at Sacramento, Wilkins sparked the Hawks to a 20-point lead in the third quarter, then came back in the closing minutes to save the victory. Wilkins finished with 28 points.
The Hawks led, 86-62, with 11:24 remaining in the game. But Reggie Theus, who scored 35 points, led a Sacramento charge that cut the margin to 101-98 and had the ball with 25 seconds remaining.
But Theus, while driving the lane, threw a wild pass and all but clinched the Hawks' seventh win in their last eight games.
Wilkins was 13 for 23 from the field and is 31 for 48 in his last two games.