DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks were not at their best last night, but the Washington Bullets were no match for them at Reunion Arena.
Time and again the Mavericks went through stretches of scoring slumps and the Bullets could not capitalize. When it was over, Dallas' Rolando Blackman had scored 28 in leading the Mavericks to a 121-96 victory before 17,007.
"I don't know if I'm disappointed or not," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld. "We were completely out of sync."
The Bullets managed to get as close as two near the end of the first quarter, but were down by 63-43 at the end of the half. They trimmed the lead to 89-74 to start the fourth quarter, but the Mavericks useda 16-5 run to put the game away.
"When you take out two starting guards, it's hard for a team to have any continuity," Unseld said.
The Mavericks got a rare team effort in the victory, as eight players scored in double figures. Blackman, who shot 11-for-13 from the field, led the way with 28 points. Guard Derek Harper finished four assists short of tying the club's single-game record of 18, and center James Donaldson added 16 rebounds.
Bernard King led the Bullets with 14 points. John Williams, Pervis Ellison and Harvey Grant had 13 each. Ellison led the team with 10 rebounds.
"The time for us to get out of this state is today, tonight," said Grant, referring to the team's consecutive losses to the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Mavericks. "This hasn't been a good road trip at all."
The Mavericks ran to 11-2 lead to open the game. The Bullets pulled close at the end of the first quarter, but Dallas pulled away to a 63-43 halftime lead.
Blackman, who finished the half with 18 points, had hit his eighth point of the first quarter before Grant and the Bullets began to recover. By that time, more than half the quarter had expired. With 7 minutes, 9 seconds left to play, the Bullets had managed just five points.
But Blackman and the Mavericks went cold. They committed seven turnovers the rest of the first quarter and let the Bullets get close. Blackman, who had nine points by the seven-minute mark, got his last field goal of the quarter with 58 seconds left.
Behind Grant, who had nine points in the quarter and Ellison's and King's four each, the Bullets got to within 21-19 with 1:31 to play in the quarter.
Blackman's fifth basket of the quarter and Herb Williams' jump shot from seven feet out put the Mavericks back in front to end the quarter, 25-19.
King finished the half with 12 and Grant with 11 to lead the Bullets. However, they were outscored by the Mavericks, 38-24, in the quarter. Blackman was the only Maverick in double figures.
The Mavericks opened the second quarter with a 10-4 run in which Kelvin Upshaw had eight, including a driving reverse layup.
The Mavericks out-rebounded the Bullets, 26-18, during the first half. Donaldson, who has been heavily criticized for his play this season, had 11 of those rebounds.
The Bullets also committed more turnovers than the Mavericks, 12-9, with Grant having four. However, they did manage to get one more steal than the Mavericks, 7-6.
At the end of the half, Derek Harper had nearly as many assists (10) as the Bullets (12).