The Phoenix Suns finally won a squeaker.
Kevin Johnson and Rex Chapman made three-point baskets with the shot clock winding down in the final 2 1/2 minutes Monday night, giving the surging Suns a come-from-behind 89-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
It was the second big home victory in 48 hours for the Suns, who defeated the New York Knicks on Saturday and have won five consecutive game at America West Arena and 11 of their last 13.
"This was the best game of the year. Didn't I say that last game?" Phoenix Coach Danny Ainge said. "Our team is gaining confidence right now. We made a lot of big shots, shots we hadn't made all year."
Johnson, who stole a Joe Dumars inbounds pass with 4.9 seconds left to seal the victory, led the Suns with 19 points. Cedric Ceballos added 18 and Chapman 17 for Phoenix, which had been 0-8 in games decided by three points or less.
"It's so important for us to win close games like the last two. We've let too many like that slip away this year," Johnson said. "We're proving we're capable of beating anyone if we convert in the final minutes."
Lindsey Hunter led the Pistons with 23 points, making five of eight shots from three-point range.
Grant Hill, who had 19 points and 11 assists, made two free throws to pull Detroit to 81-78.
Johnson and Chapman then made their three-point shots--Chapman's from 28 feet with one second left on the shot clock--to give Phoenix an 87-80 lead with 1:36 to play.
Denver 132, New Jersey 123--LaPhonso Ellis scored 36 points and Mark Jackson had 22 assists as the Nuggets won at Denver.
The Nuggets built a 29-point lead, then held off the Nets after they pulled within six points in the fourth quarter.
Antonio McDyess, who had missed the previous eight games because of a sprained right ankle, had 29 points in 25 minutes for Denver.
Utah 94, Cleveland 74--Karl Malone scored 32 points, including 14 in the decisive third quarter, as the Jazz defeated the Cavaliers at Salt Lake City.
The Jazz outscored the Cavaliers, 32-10, in the third quarter to take a 77-48 lead.
Jeff Hornacek scored 19 points for Utah.
The Cavaliers took a 28-27 lead with 9:05 to play in the second period after Bobby Phills scored seven consecutive points. But Adam Keefe gave Utah the lead for good with 7:16 left in the half, and the Jazz outscored the Cavaliers, 15-10, the rest of the half.
Atlanta 106, Charlotte 97--Steve Smith scored a season-high 31 points and the Hawks extended two long winning streaks with the victory at Atlanta.
It was the Hawks' 10th consecutive victory overall and 17th in a row at home. Christian Laettner added 23 points and Mookie Blaylock had 20 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, whose overall streak is the second best in franchise history.
The home winning streak is the second best since the Hawks moved to Atlanta from St. Louis in 1968. Atlanta won 22 consecutive games during the 1990-91 season.
Glen Rice had 33 points and Vlade Divac added 21 points and 15 rebounds for Charlotte, which saw a four-game winning streak snapped.
New York 95, Washington 79--Patrick Ewing had 22 points and 14 rebounds as the Knicks won their 13th consecutive home game, and defeated the Bullets for the 19th time in their last 20 meetings.
Buck Williams had 17 points and 11 rebounds for New York, and Larry Johnson and Allan Houston each scored 15 points.
The Knicks never trailed in the game, which was tied only once, at 2-2. An early 12-2 run gave New York a 20-8 lead.
Milwaukee 114, Philadelphia 104--Glenn Robinson scored 29 points and Vin Baker had 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks, who handed the 76ers their 13th consecutive defeat at Philadelphia and their 23rd loss in their last 24 games.
Elliott Perry made all six of his shots and finished with 17 points for the Bucks. Allen Iverson led Philadelphia with 31 points.
Seattle 112, Vancouver 96--Gary Payton scored 30 points and Shawn Kemp added 23 as the SuperSonics improved their record to 8-0 in January with a victory at Vancouver.
Detlef Schrempf added 20 points for the Pacific Division-leading SuperSonics, who scored the final 10 points of the game after the Grizzlies pulled within 102-96.
Payton made 11 of 14 shots, including six of eight three-pointers.
Greg Anthony, who left because of an injured right thumb with 2:10 to play and Seattle ahead, 107-96, scored 24 points.
Minnesota 96, San Antonio 83--Stephon Marbury scored six of his 20 points in a game-opening 14-0 run and also had 13 assists at Minneapolis.
Kevin Garnett scored 20 points, and Tom Gugliotta had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who improved to 9-1 at home against teams with losing records.