The Atlanta Hawks had Steve Hawes and Wayne Rollins to oppose the Chicago Artis Gilmore Tuesday night and they weren't enough.
Gilmore scored 35 points, blocked 11 shots and grabbed 15 rebounds to pace the Chicago Bulls to a 94-86 victory that snapped Atlanta's three game winning streak. The triump also lifted the Bulls into first place in the Midwest Division by a half game over Denver, which lost to Seattle.
The Bulls rallied from a 72-65 defincit entering the fourth period and finally grabbed a 79-76 lead with 7:10 left to play on Gilmore's three-point play.
Hawes put the Hawks ahead 86-85 by sinking a 20-feet jump shot with 2:47 to play but the Bulls scored the final nine points. Chicago took the lead for good 2:22 left on another three point play by Gilmore. Atlanta scored only 14 points in the final period.
"Artis was awesome. It was the best job a center has ever done for me in any level of basketball," said Chicago coach Ed Badger.
Gilmore scored 20 of his 35 points in the second half.
Charlie Criss, Atlanta's 28-year-old, 5-foot-8 rookie guard, made seven-of-eight shots and had 16 points to lead the Hawks to a 6-point halftime lead. The league's smallest player, the New Mexico State graduate played the last four years in the Eastern League and this past summer with the Harlem Globetrotters. He finished with a ateam-high 24 points, hitting 10-of-12 shots from the floor. Sun 110, Knicks 99
Paul Westphal scored 32 points, including 10 during a fourth-period burst that enabled Phoenix to overcome New York's 78-74 lead after three quarters. Walter Davis also scored 10 points in the final period when the Suns outscored the Knicks, 36-21. New York's Bob McAdoo led all scorers with 35 points. Braves 110, Rockets 104
Jim McDaniels, a journeyman 7-foot center, came off the bench to score a season-high 26 points and Billy Knight added 27 to spark Buffalo over slumping Houston. The 29-year-old McDaniels, invited to the Braves' spring camp after failing to stick with Seattle had 18 second-quarter points. Pistons 118, Spurs 117
Bob Laier, who scored 32 points, hit 20-foot jumper with 7:09 left to put Detroit ahead for good and sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left. San Antonio's George Gervin scored 32 points. Super Sonics 93, Nuggets 88
Fred Brown scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half and Paul Silas, Jack Sikma and Marvin Webster supplied the defense and rebounding to spark Seattle to its tenth victory in the last 11 games. The loss was the Nuggets' fourth straight, the first time Denver has lost four in a row under coach Larry Brown. Blazers 104, Celtics 99
Bill Walton scored 22 points and Portland fought off a fourth-period Boston rally to register its 33d straight home victory. Walton also pulled down 17 rebounds as Portland raised its record to 23-4, including 15.