SEATTLE -- The Washington Bullets no sooner had headed to the Northwest than they began heading south, losing to the Seattle SuperSonics, 111-89, at the Seattle Center Coliseum last night.
Seattle's Olden Polynice pointed the way, scoring 19 of his career-high 27 points in the second half, as the Sonics extended a 12-point halftime lead that reached 25 with two minutes to go.
The 7-foot Polynice, a fourth-year center, scored 17 of 24 Seattle points during an eight-minute stretch that began with a pair of free throws in the final minute of the third quarter. When he put down his ninth slam dunk with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left in the game, the crowd of 13,369 began chanting, "O.P., O.P."
He made 12 of 15 field goals and grabbed seven rebounds, coming off the bench. His previous career high had been 18 points, most recently against the Houston Rockets Nov. 3.
The Bullets (16-21) lost for the 11th straight time in Seattle and fell by 20 for the second night in a row. Washington finished its four-game trip with three losses.
Washington scored six straight early in the third quarter -- four on back-to-back jumpers by Harvey Grant -- to close to 58-50 with 9:43 left in the period. Grant, who led the visitors with 19 points after missing the Portland Trail Blazers game because of a sore shin, hit a 17-footer four minutes later to cut the deficit to seven.
However, Seattle (17-19) scored eight of the next 10 points and outscored the Bullets, 19-6, through the rest of the quarter.
Bernard King added 17 points, but only eight of those after the first quarter, and Pervis Ellison added 10 off the bench for the Bullets, who committed 19 turnovers and were picked for 15 Seattle steals.
Derrick McKey led Seattle in the first half, scoring 15 of his 17 in the first two periods. Forward Shawn Kemp added 14 Sonics points and 13 rebounds, as Seattle out-rebounded Washington, 50-39.
After nine lead changes and five ties in the first quarter, the Sonics never trailed in the second quarter, pulling away to a 16-point lead before the Bullets cut it to 56-44 at halftime.
King, who scored all but two of his 11 first-half points in the first quarter, gave the Bullets a 24-21 lead with a 12-footer from the right wing with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
Seattle scored the last four in the period on an 18-footer by McKey and a reverse slam by Polynice, and Eddie Johnson finished a 6-0 run with a 12-footer 15 seconds into the second quarter.
Guards Sedale Threatt and Dale Ellis scored six points apiece during a 17-2 run that began when Threatt streaked through a wide-open lane for a finger-roll lay-in with 7:55 to go and dampened the Bullets' hopes of winning in Seattle for the first time since 1980.
Ellis' three-pointer with 5:20 left began an 11-0 spurt that finished the run. It was his first basket after starting the game 0-for-6 from the field.
He added another to cap the spree that put Seattle ahead, 52-36, with 1:32 to go in the half.
Threatt, who replaced Ellis in the first quarter, scored 10 in the half, and McKey led all scorers in the half with 15.
King's only points in the quarter came on a pair of free throws with 41 seconds to go. He made four of 11 shots in the half and turned the ball over four times.
Charles Jones helped keep Washington in the game in the first quarter with three blocked shots. He finished with five and has 75 for the season.