Walter Davis scored 24 points and Larry Nance 22 as the Suns took advantage of center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's absence and beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 123-106, in Phoenix last night. The Suns had lost 11 straight to the defending NBA champion Lakers.
Abdul-Jabbar, the league's eighth-leading scorer, sat out for the first time this season with a strained right shoulder and joined forwards James Worthy and Mitch Kupchak on the Los Angeles bench with injuries.
Phoenix never trailed in the game and took control early, shooting 73 percent from the field in the first quarter for a 38-21 lead, with Nance scoring 10 points and Davis eight.
The Suns led by as many as 22 in the second period en route to a 61-50 halftime lead.
Rookie Ed Pinckney finished with 17 points for Phoenix. 76ers 118, Nuggets 107
Charles Barkley scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to enable Philadelphia to recover from blowing a 16-point lead earlier that period. The 76ers scored the last 12 points of the game, ending the Nuggets' streak of nine victories at home. Denver has lost only five games at home all season.
After Philadelphia took a 98-82 lead with eight minutes to play, Mike Evans rallied the Nuggets with two three-point baskets. Calvin Natt, Denver's high scorer with 28 points, scored seven straight points in the rally, then Bill Hanzlik put Denver on top, 107-106, on a three-point play.
But then Barkley scored on a rebound and Bobby Jones on a drive. Barkley made two foul shots to put the 76ers up by five. Jazz 110, Kings 94
In Salt Lake City, Adrian Dantley's 25 points helped put Utah above .500 for the first time since Dec. 30.
Utah led by 56-48 at intermission, then Dantley scored 10 points in the third quarter to help provide a 84-71 lead going into the last quarter. Hawks 116, Spurs 108
Spud Webb scored six points in the last 43 seconds to offset San Antonio's comeback in Atlanta.
The Spurs, trailing by 108-100, went on an 8-2 spurt that cut the lead to two points with one minute remaining when Jeff Lamp made a jumper.
Webb countered with a jumper with 43 seconds to play to give Atlanta a 112-108 lead. Then he made four foul shots down the stretch to clinch the victory. Nets 102, Knicks 100
Buck Williams caught Mickey Johnson's alley-oop pass and dunked with one second left to win the game in Madison Square Garden.
Knicks rookie Gerald Wilkins, who scored 27 points, had tied the score at 100 with two seconds to go. But Johnson tossed the ball from out of bounds at midcourt to Williams, who caught the ball in midair and sent it through the net.
The Nets' Albert King, who scored 12 of his team-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, missed one of two foul shots with :07 left.
The jersey of Earl Monroe, a standout guard for the Knicks' 1973 NBA championship team, was retired in halftime ceremonies.
The loss was New York's 11th straight to New Jersey since Feb. 16, 1984. Mavericks 119, Warriors 110
In Dallas, Mark Aguirre scored a game-high 40 points to help the Mavericks break a six-game losing streak with the victory over Golden State. Blazers 117, Rockets 112
In Portland, Ore., Clyde Drexler had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists to help the Trail Blazers end their 12-game losing streak. It was his third "triple double" this season.
The Trail Blazers' streak was the NBA's worst this season. The Rockets scored the last five points of the game to make it closer than it had been since the first quarter. They played without Akeem Olajuwon, who is injured. Their other star, Ralph Sampson, was scoreless in the second half. He finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.