Dominique Wilkins scored a career-high 49 points, including a three-point basket with eight seconds left, to give the Atlanta Hawks a 123-122 victory over the Houston Rockets last night in Atlanta.

The Rockets, who had overcome a 13-point third-quarter deficit, went in front, 122-120, when Akeem Olajuwon hit a turnaround jumper with 18 seconds to play.

Wilkins' 49 points bettered by one his previous career high, set last March against the Detroit Pistons. He had 15 points in the first quarter, seven in the second and 11 in the third and closed with 16.

Lewis Lloyd led the Rockets with 34 points, 16 in the final quarter, and John Lucas totaled 29, including five three-point baskets. 76ers 108, Celtics 102

In Philadelphia, Maurice Cheeks scored a season-high 26 points and the 76ers' defense led a strong fourth quarter against Boston.

Trailing, 84-83, at the start of the period, Philadelphia scored eight straight points during a period in which the Celtics missed nine straight shots.

Kevin McHale had a season-high 34 and Larry Bird 29 for Boston. Knicks 112, Pistons 111: Pat Cummings scored 22 points, including a critical 10-foot turnaround jumper with 11 seconds left, and Trent Tucker had a season-high 24 points, as New York won at home over Detroit.

With seven seconds left on the 24-second clock, Cummings connected to give the Knicks a 110-106 lead. Tucker's two free throws with five seconds left clinched the win.

Patrick Ewing had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks before fouling out with 4:13 left. Bill Laimbeer had a season-high 29 points for Detroit. Suns 115, Warriors 98

Larry Nance scored 35 points and Alvan Adams had 24 to lead Phoenix past visiting Golden State.

Rookie Chris Mullin led Golden State with a season-high 24 points. Bucks 132, Mavericks 107

Craig Hodges scored seven points in a 22-4 tear midway through the second period as the Bucks built a 20-point halftime lead and rolled past Dallas in Milwaukee.

Hodges totaled 18 points. Terry Cummings led the Bucks with 25 points, 15 in the first half.

Rolando Blackman led the Mavericks with 27 points. Bulls 117, Jazz 104

George Gervin scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter to lead Chicago past Utah at Chicago Stadium.

The Bulls led by eight in the second quarter and nine in the third, but sparked by Adrian Dantley, who finished with 20 points, Utah tied each time. Nets 102, Pacers 98

In Indianapolis, Darryl Dawkins scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and hit a turnaround jumper with 18 seconds left to put New Jersey ahead.

Indiana's Vern Fleming missed a jumper from 15 feet and Mike Gminski grabbed the rebound. He was fouled by Clint Richardson and hit two free throws with nine seconds left to clinch the victory.

Steve Stipanovich, off the bench, scored 25 points for Indiana. Gminski had 18 points for the Nets. Spurs 128, Nuggets 118

In Denver, Alvin Robertson scored a career-high 41 points and Mike Mitchell had 27 to lead San Antonio.

Denver, led by Alex English's 31 points, cut the Spurs' lead from 71-55 at halftime to 110-105. Mitchell's 15-foot jumper made it 116-105 and the Nuggets could get no closer than nine. Trail Blazers 114, SuperSonics 97

Reserve Jerome Kersey scored 15 points in the final period to lead visiting Portland over Seattle.

Kersey's three-point play with 2:55 to play put Portland on top, 99-96, and the Trail Blazers scored 14 straight.

Kiki Vandeweghe led Portland with 26 points. Seattle rookie Xavier McDaniel had 29. Clippers 117, Kings 116

At Sacramento, Calif., Cedric Maxwell hit two of four free throw attempts in the final 63 seconds to assure Los Angeles the victory.