The Boston Celtics are not yet ready to give up their dominance of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Assn.
If the Atlanta Hawks didn't get that message last Friday at Boston when the Celtics overwhelmed them, they probably did Tuesday night at Atlanta.
The Hawks built a 97-92 lead with just under two minutes to play, then didn't score again. Robert Parish keyed a 10-0 run that gave the Celtics a 102-97 victory.
In the closing surge, Parish scored three points, made a steal, a key rebound and assisted Danny Ainge on a layup that clinched the victory with 34 seconds left. Ainge's consecutive streak of three-point baskets ended at 23 games when he went 0 for 5 from that range.
Parish, who led all rebounders with 14, scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a layup that put Boston ahead to stay, 98-97.
The Celtics, who have been a poor road team for the last two seasons, had not beaten either Atlanta or the Detroit Pistons on the road this season. They started poorly in this one and trailed in the second quarter, 51-36.
But, they caught up in the third quarter and then finished strongly.
The Celtics have been the East representative in the final round for the last four years, winning the NBA championship twice.
Dominique Wilkins, although he had 38 points and 10 rebounds, blamed himself for the loss.
"I'll take the blame," he said. "I made two critical turnovers down the stretch. That's something I normally don't do, but that's what gave them the momentum.
"It was an important game for us to win, and we didn't do it."
Indiana 97, Chicago 93--Early in the season, the Bulls won eight of their first nine away from home.
The road has turned on Michael Jordan and his mates. Although Jordan scored 34 points at Indianapolis, the Bulls lost their ninth consecutive road game.
The Bulls trailed by 14 at halftime, rallied to pull ahead, 87-85, with 4:50 left, then fell behind for good when Chuck Person and Vern Fleming led a 10-3 Pacer spurt.
Seattle 116, Sacramento 110--Dale Ellis scored 42 points and became the first NBA player to have two four-point plays in a game as the SuperSonics beat the Kings.
Ellis hit a three-point basket, followed by a foul shot twice in the first half. There had never been more than one four-point play in a game since the NBA introduced the three-point basket in 1979.
New York 122, New Jersey 101--Mark Jackson scored 22 points and broke a 38-year-old club record for assists by a rookie to lead the Knicks to a romp at New York.
Jackson's seven assists gave him 388, two more than Dick McGuire had in 1949-50, his first season. Jackson, who has been shooting only 43.3% from the field, made 10 of 12 field-goal attempts.
Dallas 128, San Antonio 111--Mark Aguirre scored 24 points, and Roy Tarpley came off the bench at Dallas to play another brilliant game for the Mavericks.
Tarpley had 20 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes to help the Mavericks win their fifth in a row. The Mavericks lead the Midwest Division by 4 1/2 games.
Portland 112, Milwaukee 106--Clyde Drexler and Jerome Kersey each scored 25 points at Portland, and the Trail Blazers pulled away from the road-weary Bucks in the last quarter.