King paces Bullets to 114-112 overtime victory over Pacers

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

INDIANAPOLIS -- There is 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 halftime and hit two huge baskets in overtime.

And the Bullets (8-15) had 24 offensive rebounds and overall held an astonishing 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 4:55 left in regulation.

The Bullets forced 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. But Grant missed the free throw, leaving the teams tied at 106-106, and 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 fouled out, joining Schrempf and Smits on the sideline.

The Bullets took advantage of the situation, pounding away inside in overtime.

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 mid-air and slipping the ball into the hoop for a 111-110 lead with 1:23 remaining.

After Chuck 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.

The Pacers wanted to set up a three-point shot for Reggie 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 to secure the victory.

The Bullets got offensive boosts from backup centers Pervis Ellison and Greg Foster in the first half but shot poorly otherwise and trailed, 60-56, at the break.

Ellison had 11 points and eight rebounds in 13 minutes, including a pair of dunks that put the Bullets up, 41-34. Harvey Grant hit a running one-hander to extend the lead to 43-34, but that's as far as the lead would stretch.

The Pacers, who missed, seven of their first eight shots in the second period, finally warmed up when coach Dick Versace re-inserted his starters. Consecutive three-point plays by Vern Fleming and a jumper by Reggie Miller were the heart of a 12-2 run that finished with the Pacers up, 50-47.

Miller, who had been quiet most of the half, took over from there, scoring 11 points in the final 2:15 of the half.

Foster came in after Ellison picked up his second foul and provided five points in five minutes, but the low-scoring Bullets could not sustain the tempo, particularly in the first quarter.

The teams combined for 52 shots in the first 12 minutes and, despite missing five of eight free throws, the Bullets led the fast-paced opening quarter, 35-32.

But once things slowed down, Washington found easy shots harder to find.

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