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NBA ROUNDUP

Sharp-Shooting Murray Helps Bullets Inch Closer to Playoffs

March 27, 1997|From Associated Press

Six weeks after taking over the Washington Bullets, Coach Bernie Bickerstaff is beginning to like what he sees.

What he saw Wednesday night was reserve Tracy Murray score a season-high 24 points as the Bullets beat the Boston Celtics, 105-92, at Landover, Md., to inch closer to a playoff berth.

"I can see a collective purpose," said Bickerstaff after the Bullets moved within 2 1/2 games of idle eighth-place Cleveland in the Eastern Conference. "The commitment seems to be there."

Murray made five three-points shots as the Bullets won for the sixth time in eight games.

"These are the games we've got to have," Murray said.

Phoenix 109, Seattle 107--Kevin Johnson scored 31 points and Jason Kidd put in a layup with 2.9 seconds left as the Suns won at Seattle.

The Suns scored the last five points to win their fifth consecutive road game and end a six-game losing streak against the SuperSonics.

Portland 88, Charlotte 87--The Hornets missed five of their last six field-goal attempts, and Glen Rice, who had 33 points, missed a 15-foot shot with two seconds left at Charlotte.

New York 105, Detroit 94--The Knicks became the first team in 11 games to score more than 100 points against the Pistons with this victory at New York.

It was the Knicks' first all-around strong game since they beat the Chicago Bulls 2 1/2 weeks ago.

New Jersey 123, Philadelphia 105--Jim Jackson tied his season high with 28 points and Tony Massenburg matched his career high with 26 as the Nets won at East Rutherford, N.J.

The 123 points tied the Nets' season high, and they shot a season-high 53.3% (49 of 92).

Miami 101, Sacramento 88--Alonzo Mourning, in the starting lineup for the first time since tearing a tendon in his right foot on Feb. 21, scored 26 points in 39 minutes at Miami.

Mitch Richmond scored 32 points for the Kings, who were without guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf because of a sprained right shoulder.

Indiana 104, Dallas 80--Fred Hoiberg scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Pacers at Indianapolis. Derek Harper, who scored 19 for the Mavericks, became the 10th player in NBA history with 15,000 points and 6,000 assists.

Minnesota 102, Denver 100--Tom Gugliotta had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves at Denver as the Nuggets lost their fifth in a row and 18th of 21 games since the All-Star break.

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