- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
PRO BASKETBALL—The league's last unbeaten team fell as the Rockets beat the Pistons 109-98. With 4:38 to play and the Rockets trailing 89-86, Houston's Akeem Olajuwon scored to start a streak of eight unanswered points. The loss left the Pistons a game ahead of the 6-1 Cavaliers in the Central Division. The Bulls' Michael Jordan scored 52 points against the 76ers, but Philly got 42 points—on 18-for-25 shooting—and 16 rebounds from Charles Barkley and beat Chicago 123-110. Two days later the Knicks scored 84 in the first half to the Sixers' 80, but Barkley had 38 points for the game to lead Philadelphia to a 137-135 win. New York double-teamed Barkley the following night, holding him to 23 points, and got 27 points from Patrick Ewing in a 141-122 blowout to take sole possession of the Atlantic Division lead. A three-pointer by Magic Johnson beat the buzzer and the Nuggets as the Pacific Division-leading Lakers won 148-146 in double overtime. The Jazz got a share of the four-way tie for first (with the Mavericks, Nuggets and Rockets) in the Midwest Division with easy wins over the Pacers, Trail Blazers and Suns.
BOWLING—MATS KARLSSON beat Marshall Holman 231-199 in the final match to win a PBA event and $33,000 in Glendale Heights, Ill.
PRO FOOTBALL—Field goals were salvation, or near-salvation, on Sunday. For the second straight week the Chiefs won on a Nick Lowery kick in the last seconds, this time a 40-yarder with 46 seconds left, to beat the Seahawks 27-24. Seattle remained in a three-way tie for first in the AFC West with the Broncos and Raiders, who lost to the Falcons 12-6. Chuck Nelson kicked for all of Minnesota's points in a 12-3 defeat of the Colts. That triumph bolstered the Vikings' chances for a wild-card berth in the playoffs. The Patriots fortified their chances for a wild card with a 6-3 victory over the Dolphins on 22-and 34-yard field goals by Jason Staurovsky. Detroit's Eddie Murray boosted the Lions out of last place in the NFC Central with four field goals in a 19-9 win over Green Bay, which now holds last place all by itself. The Eagles beat the Giants 23-17 when tackle Clyde Simmons picked up a blocked field goal attempt and ran 15 yards for a touchdown after 6:10 of overtime. That put Philadelphia into a tie for first in the NFC East with the Giants and Cardinals, who lost 38-20 to the Oilers. The Bengals maintained their one-game lead over the Oilers in the AFC Central by charging ahead of the Cowboys 24-3 in the first half of their 38-24 victory. Boomer Esiason completed 16 of 29 passes, including three for touchdowns. Barry Redden scored on two one-yard runs as San Diego upset his former Ram teammates 38-24. That defeat dropped L.A. two games behind the NFC West-leading Saints, who smashed the Broncos 42-0 as Bobby Hebert completed 20 of 23 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns. Neal Anderson ran for two touchdowns in the NFC Central-leading Bears' 27-15 victory over the Buccaneers. The Browns turned three Steeler mistakes into an early 17-0 lead and cruised to a 27-7 victory. After a 31-6 Monday night blowout of the Dolphins, the Bills relied on their ground game, defense and field goal kicker Scott Norwood to clinch the AFC East championship with a 9-6 OT defeat of the Jets (page 60).
HOCKEY—The Flames continued to burn up the NHL by scoring five goals in each of three easy wins, over the Islanders, Devils and Whalers, which left them five points ahead of the Smythe Division runners-up, the Oilers and Kings. The Red Wings held on to the Norris Division lead with a 4-3 defeat of Hartford and two wins over the Bruins. The Canadiens' recent trade for center Russ Courtnall paid off as he had two goals and two assists in a 5-3 defeat of the Blackhawks that left Montreal undefeated for the week and atop the Adams by two points. The Penguins fell 8-5 to the Maple Leafs and 6-3 to the Islanders, while the Rangers went 2-0-1 on the road to lake a five-point lead in the Patrick.
INDOOR SOCCER—Baltimore defender Tim Witt-man scored twice for the third straight game as the Blast rallied to beat Wichita 7-6 and remain the MISL's only unbeaten team, at 3-0. Los Angeles forward Gary Heale had two goals in the third period of the Lazers' 3-1 victory over Taco-ma, which remained the league's sole winless (0-4) team.
MOTOR SPORTS—RUSTY WALLACE, driving a Pontiac, beat Davey Allison, in a Ford, by 3.3 seconds to win a NASCAR event and $87,575. Wallace averaged 129.024 mph around the 1.522-mile Atlanta International Raceway oval (page 100).
SOCCER—North Carolina won its seventh women's national championship in eight years with a 4-1 defeat of North Carolina State (page 90).
MILEPOSTS—FINED: By the NBA, Boston's ROBERT PARISH and Detroit's BILL LAIMBEER, $1,500 and $1,000, respectively, for fighting in a game on Nov. 11; also by the NBA, the Pistons' RICK MAHORN, $1,000 for committing two flagrant fouls in a game against Atlanta on Nov. 9.