Bullets win, 114-112, in OT King scores 37

December 20, 1990|By Steve Brunner | Steve Brunner,Special to The Sun

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's something between the Washington Bullets and Indiana Pacers that four quarters just can't settle.

For the second time this season, the Bullets knocked off the Pacers in overtime, 114-112, behind a remarkable second-half performance by Bernard King and dominant rebounding.

King scored 27 of his 37 points after the break and hit two huge baskets in overtime.

The Bullets (8-15) had 24 offensive rebounds and held a 55-34 advantage on the boards.

Pervis Ellison, who for the second time in two seasons established a career high in rebounds against the Pacers, this time with 15, was responsible for much of the damage. But he was ejected, along with Pacers center Rik Smits, after the two exchanged several punches with 4 minutes, 55 seconds left in regulation.

Smits wound up with a nearly closed right eye, and Ellison, who also had 14 points, left with a knot over his left eye.

"It was his [Ellison's] best effort in a long time," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld. "He put out. He was exceptional. He was lively. The problem with a performance like that is that now, that's what people expect every night.

"The problem with Pervis is not his skills; it's more a question of him wanting to get it done. I didn't really see what happened [in the fight], but Pervis stood his ground."

The Bullets forced the overtime, and had a chance to win, despite missing 14 of 19 shots in the fourth quarter. Harvey Grant had a chance to put Washington ahead, drawing Detlef Schrempf's sixth foul while making a layup on a give-and-go pass from Haywoode Workman with 36.2 seconds left.

Grant (26 points, 11 rebounds) missed the free throw, leaving the teams tied at 106, then Charles Jones stole the inbounds pass to send it into overtime.

The Pacers (9-16) ran into a manpower shortage in overtime when LaSalle Thompson quickly fouled out, joining Schrempf and Smits on the sideline and effectively negating Indiana's height advantage.

Reggie Miller led the Pacers with 34 points, and Chuck Person had 22.

Grant made a free throw to cut the Pacers' lead to 110-109 with 2:05 left, and Indiana would not make another basket.

King then turned in a spectacular, decisive play, catching the carom of a shot by Grant that had been deflected, spinning in midair and slipping the ball into the basket for a 111-110 lead with 1:23 remaining.

"Bernard King was sensational," said Pacers coach Dick Versace. "The bottom line was that he made shots. He was unbelievable."

King had 33 points in the Bullets' 107-105 overtime win in the Capital Centre on Nov. 24.

After Person and Mike Sanders missed long jumpers, King struck again, spinning free of Sanders in the lane for a layup that made it 113-110 with 35.8 seconds to go.

"Fortunately, down the stretch, we did our job," said King, "particularly playing good defense."

The Pacers wanted to set up a three-point shot for Miller, but he could not get free and instead drove the baseline and drew a foul from Ledell Eackles, making both free throws with 21.6 seconds left.

Grant, fouled immediately after catching the inbounds pass, left the door open by missing one of two free throws, making it 114-112 with 19.6 seconds left, but again the Bullets' defense came through.

Miller couldn't get free for a shot and the Pacers worked the ball into third-string center Greg Dreiling, who missed a short hook, then a tip, and Person missed another tip before King came away with the loose rebound as the clock ran out.

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