Dominique Wilkins had a career-high 57 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks past the New Jersey Nets, 126-117, last night in Atlanta.

Wilkins' total, highest in the NBA this year, matched the franchise record held by Bob Pettit and Lou Hudson. In the race for the NBA scoring title, Wilkins' average is 30.37 points a game, giving him a slight lead over Utah's Adrian Dantley and Denver's Alex English.

The Nets, led by 35 points from Mike Gminski, closed to 116-112 with 1:49 left, but Atlanta made eight of 10 free throws in the last two minutes.

*Bucks 102, Cavaliers 101: Sidney Moncrief scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half as visiting Milwaukee dropped Cleveland one game behind the Chicago Bulls for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

World B. Free led Cleveland with 26. Mel Turpin had 25.

*Nuggets 115, Suns 113: Danny Schayes' layup with one second to play gave Denver, led by Alex English's 37, the home victory. Walter Davis had 18 for Phoenix.

*Lakers 117, Rockets 113: In Inglewood, Calif., Magic Johnson scored 26 points and had 16 assists to lead Los Angeles past Houston. Akeem Olajuwon led the Rockets with 34 points.

*Trail Blazers 115, Clippers 100: Clyde Drexler scored 26 points and led Portland to victory in its final regular-season home game. Los Angeles was led by Marques Johnson's 24 points.

*Mavericks 115, SuperSonics 109: In Seattle, Mark Aguirre and Rolando Blackman scored 19 points each to help Dallas end a three-game losing streak.

*Jazz 119, Kings 108: Thurl Bailey scored 11 of his 22 points in the final quarter as Utah won in Sacramento. Center LaSalle Thompson topped the Kings with 24 points and 10 rebounds.