Louis Orr's 18-foot jumper proved two things: The New York Knicks were slightly better than the Indiana Pacers, 106-104, last night in New York, and are at least as good as the 1963 Knicks, the worst Knicks ever.
The NBA's two worst teams brought convincing credentials into the game: each had lost eight straight. The Pacers ensured their futility by blowing a 103-94 lead and missing three of four foul shots in the last minute.
The Knicks raised their record to 5-25 in games that their star, Patrick Ewing, hasn't played. Overall, they're 23-57 with two games to go and can't break their team record of 59 losses, established during an 80-game season in 1963.
But the Pacers have lost only 54 times this season, so the Knicks can do no better than tie for the worst team this season.
*Kings 122, Mavericks 115: In Sacramento, Calif., Reggie Theus' 19 points included five foul shots in the last 76 seconds that beat Dallas.
Sacramento trailed by 11 points and didn't lead in the second half until Otis Thorpe scored off an offensive rebound for a 109-108 lead. He scored again 42 seconds later for a five-point lead.
The Kings then took advantage of the Mavericks' fouling strategy in the last 1:16 to make nine out of 10 foul shots.
Thorpe and Eddie Johnson each had 18 points for the Kings. Both teams have qualified for the Western Conference playoffs.
*Pistons 128, Cavaliers 104: Cleveland is zero for April after Kelly Tripucka's 23 points led five Pistons in double figures in Pontiac, Mich.
The Cavaliers have lost five straight and figure to end their season Sunday against the Bulls.
*Bulls 107, Bucks 101: In Chicago, Michael Jordan scored 26 points, then pronounced the Bulls ready for the playoffs.
"The Bulls proved they can take the pressure and beat a good team," he said. "Now that we are one game ahead of Cleveland for that last playoff berth, I can feel the confidence building in this team."
*Nuggets 131, Suns 123: In Phoenix, Alex English scored 11 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter to help push the Suns almost out of the playoff picture. The score was tied 31 times, the last at 119-119.