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NBA ROUNDUP : Mourning's Defense Helps Charlotte Win

March 19, 1994|From Associated Press

When Alonzo Mourning blocked Karl Malone's three-point shot with 1.9 seconds to play, Charlotte clinched a victory in the kind of game it had been losing.

The Hornets held a three-point lead over the Utah Jazz and Malone was getting frustrated. He let fly, saw it blocked and took the blame for an 82-78 defeat Friday at Charlotte.

"I'm not one for excuses," Malone said. "Alonzo had a good block at the end of the game. I took the three-pointer because none of our shooters were open at the time. I'll take the heat for tonight."

Del Curry's free throw finished the scoring.

It was the Hornets' fifth victory in the six games since Mourning has returned from a calf injury, and it came even though Charlotte scored only eight points in the first quarter.

"We've always known the importance of defense, and that's what won it for us tonight," Mourning said. "We have stepped up our intensity and defense and it has showed with the success we have had in the last few games. We are a very talented team on the defensive end."

The Hornets still didn't gain ground on New Jersey--which beat the Lakers--and remain 4 1/2 games behind the Nets in the race for the East's final playoff berth.

Atlanta 81, Indiana 78--Danny Manning grabbed a loose ball for a breakaway dunk with 2.9 seconds to play at Indianapolis, sealing the Hawks' victory and denying the Pacers a club-record 12th consecutive home victory.

Orlando 113, Cleveland 96--Shaquille O'Neal scored 38 points and had 15 rebounds at Orlando, where the Magic solidified their hold on the fourth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and homecourt advantage in the first round.

Minnesota 100, Philadelphia 98--Isaiah Rider made two free throws with 21 seconds to play and Stacey King added a season-high 20 points to lead the Timberwolves, who snapped a 14-game road losing streak.

Detroit 114, Phoenix 113--Joe Dumars scored a team-high 30 points and gave the Pistons their only lead on an 18-foot jump shot with 3.6 seconds to play at Phoenix.

Chicago 87, Seattle 84--Scottie Pippen scored 22 points and the Bulls withstood a fourth-quarter rally at home to win their fourth in a row and fifth in their last six games.

Seattle last won at Chicago Stadium in November of 1983, 10 games ago.

Sacramento 115, Denver 103--Mitch Richmond scored 29 points and the Kings outscored the Nuggets, 25-8, in the first 8:17 at Denver in winning their second in a row and only their seventh victory on the road this season.

The Nuggets had won six in a row at home.

Portland 122, Washington 104--Rod Strickland scored a season-high 28 points, 16 in the second half, and Clyde Drexler added 28 points to lead the Trail Blazers at Portland.

The victory ended the Trail Blazers' four-game losing streak.

Tom Gugliotta scored a season-high 32 points, 14 in the second quarter, and Rex Chapman had 24 points for the Bullets.

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