Kerr's last-second shot leads Cavs over Bullets

December 08, 1991|By Burt Graeff | Burt Graeff,Special to The Sun

RICHFIELD, Ohio -- The Washington Bullets' losing streak is at five, but there are no complaints from coach Wes Unseld.

The Bullets (6-14) dropped a 99-97 decision last night to the Cleveland Cavaliers (11-6), when reserve guard Steve Kerr hit a fall-away 14-foot jump shot with 0.6 seconds left.

Michael Adams' 30-footer at the buzzer hit the backboard, but missed.

Kerr's shot was taken over Adams, who momentarily was deterred by a John (Hot Rod) Williams back-pick.

"Michael did about all he could do in that case," said Unseld. "The guy [Kerr] made a good shot."

The loss, which dropped the Bullets to 0-10 when they fail to score 100 points, offset a fourth quarter comeback that turned a 15-point deficit, 88-73,with 9:50 left into a 97-97 tie on rookie Larry Stewart's two free throws with 14.8 remaining.

The Cavaliers called timeout with 1.2 seconds left to map out their last play.

"We had a foul to give," said Unseld, "and I thought if they went into one of their big guys [Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, Williams], we would give it.

"I thought we were in pretty good shape when they went to Kerr."

Kerr, who did not play in the last three games, took an inbounds pass from Craig Ehlo, dribbled down the right side and launched the shot with Adams trying to block it.

"I had a hand in his face," said Adams, who was five of 18 from the field in scoring 12 points, handing out 10 assists and grabbing six rebounds.

"He got a good look at the basket, though. The opening was there and he knocked it down."

It was Kerr's first game-winner in four NBA seasons.

"I've had good looks at the basket in cases like that before," said Kerr, who had eight points and five assists in 26 minutes "but I've never come through.

"The irony here is that when I make one, it an off-balance shot."

Harvey Grant topped the Bullets with 30 points. Grant had 14 points and seven rebounds during the Bullets fourth-quarter charge.

Center Pervis Ellison had 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots going up against three-time All-Star Brad Daugherty (23 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists).

The Bullets controlled the boards, 51-47, for the first time this season.

"What lost it for us," said Unseld, "was the fact we dug ourselves too big a hole. We got back into the game by being aggressive with the trap we put on."

The Cavaliers, who lost three of four games to the Bullets last season, jumped out to the 88-73 lead on a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter.

Forward Tom Hammonds (13 points, 8 rebounds) missed all four of the Bullets shots to start the quarter.

"The shots I missed were easy one," said Hammonds, who was five of 14 from the field.

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