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NBA ROUNDUP : Hornets Take on New Look When Mourning Returns

March 09, 1994|From Associated Press

If there was any question about Alonzo Mourning's value to the Charlotte Hornets, it was answered Tuesday.

He's back and so are the Hornets. Well, halfway back.

Mourning returned from a 15-game absence to score 24 points and help them snap an eight-game losing streak with a 97-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at Charlotte, N.C.

"We played tenacious defense," said Mourning, who also had 15 rebounds. "We came together as a unit and worked as hard as we could."

Without Mourning, out because of a torn calf muscle, the Hornets were 1-14 and gave up an average of 116 points per game. The victory over the NBA's highest-scoring team pulled Charlotte 5 1/2 games behind New Jersey for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

The Hornets' playoff chances could improve even more with the return of forward Larry Johnson, who has missed 31 games because of a strained lower back. Johnson might play Friday at Minnesota.

Chicago 116, Atlanta 95--Scottie Pippen scored a season-high 39 points at Chicago as the Bulls snapped their five-game losing streak and the Hawks' six-game winning streak.

The Bulls pulled away with the help of 10 three-point goals and three runs of 13 or more points.

Utah 100, Minnesota 86--The Jazz tied a franchise record with their 10th consecutive victory as Karl Malone had 30 points and 11 rebounds at Salt Lake City.

Orlando 95, Denver 88--Shaquille O'Neal had 29 points and 16 rebounds and the Magic got an unexpected lift from his backup, Tree Rollins, who scored eight fourth-quarter points at Orlando.

Cleveland 103, Sacramento 82--The Cavaliers matched a team record with their 11th consecutive victory, getting 18 points each from Terrell Brandon--who filled in for banged-up Mark Price--and John Williams at Richfield, Ohio.

San Antonio 115, Houston 99--J.R. Reid scored a season-high 24 points as the Spurs moved into first place in the NBA Midwest Division at San Antonio.

Seattle 113, Golden State 98--Shawn Kemp had 24 points and 14 rebounds at Seattle as the SuperSonics won their sixth in a row. The Warriors' Chris Webber did not play because of a bruised hip.

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