SACRAMENTO,CALIF. — SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Either the Washington Bullets left something important on the Oakland Coliseum floor Wednesday, they lost it on the two-hour bus ride to Sacramento yesterday.
Their performance in a 104-86 loss to the woeful Sacramento Kings last night hardly resembled their effort in a hard-fought road victory over Golden State the night before. The team that had won four of its previous seven games looked very much like the one that had begun the season with a 2-8 mark.
These were the Kings, after all. The Kings, losers for so long and losers 13 times in their first 15 games this season. One of the Kings' victories was Nov. 20 at the Capital Centre, 87-82.
Last night, Sacramento got 27 points and 12 rebounds from forward Wayman Tisdale, and rookie guard Travis Mays scored 26 points -- 20 in the first half -- and also contributed five assists and four steals. Rookie forward Duane Causwell added 18 points and veteran Antoine Carr scored 14.
"Wayman Tisdale was again our nemesis," Bullets coach Wes Unseld said. "We had no one who could guard him. We have to double-team every night because we don't have the players who can defend down there."
Bernard King scored 16 of his team-high 25 points in the second half, but he couldn't bring the Bullets back. Guard A.J. English scored 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting, and forward Ledell Eackles scored 14.
The Bullets were close only in the first eight minutes of the game, but Sacramento moved to a 28-18 advantage at the end of the first quarter and increased its lead to 55-40 at halftime. The Kings led, 78-67, at the end of three quarters. Their biggest lead was 23 points on two occasions very late in the game.
"Beforehand, I thought the game was winnable, but once the game started I didn't feel too good. We just didn't play hard enough. The Kings' intensity on defense was very good," Unseld said.
Bullets guard Darrell Walker said: "It's disappointing to play like we did tonight after playing [as well] as we did against Golden State. We never got our offense into the game tonight, and their defense really kept us at the perimeter. On defense, whenever we doubled against Wayman, he would kick it back out to Travis [Mays] or Rory [Sparrow] and they'd hit the shots."
Mays and Tisdale scored 20 and 12 points, respectively, to lead the Kings to a 55-40 halftime lead over a poor-shooting Bullets team. Mays scored 10 first-quarter points, including seven in a 10-2 Kings run, to lead Sacramento to a 28-18 edge at the end of the period.
The game was close until Mays took control with about four minutes left in the quarter. He drove from the top of the key for a layup and followed that with a three-point shot from the left and later two foul shots to give the Kings a 23-14 lead with 2:52 left in the period.
"I'd had a back injury [a strain that limited him to just seven points in 16 minutes in Sacramento's previous game two days earlier]. I knew I had to get started quickly, and I did," Mays said. "Scoring comes naturally for me. [Mays was averaging 14.3 points beforehand]."
After King hit a baseline jumper to break the streak, Carr hit from the lane, was fouled and made the free throw to complete a three-point play and give Sacramento a 26-16 advantage.
Mays continued to sparkle in the early part of the second quarter, making two three-point shots to help the Kings to their biggest lead of the half, 40-26, with 6:40 remaining.