Bullets fight off Spurs, stop skid Robinson, Grant ejected for brawl in 96-93 win

December 19, 1991|By Jim Lefko | Jim Lefko,Special to The Sun

SAN ANTONIO -- The streak ended last night, thanks to Michael Adams' hands and Harvey Grant's fists.

Adams scored 35 points, as the Washington Bullets broke an eight-game skid with a 96-93 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Grant's role came at the 5-minute, 59-second mark of the fourth quarter when he fought with Spurs center David Robinson, who was trying to establish position in the lane. After the jockeying for position led to a flurry of punches, both players were ejected.

"The only thing I've got to say is two guys kind of got frustrated," Grant said.

Robinson left the game with 25 points, and the Bullets ahead by 11.

But San Antonio used a 9-0 run, capped by Sean Elliott's three-point shot with 34 seconds left, to draw within 95-93.

Elliott, who finished with 25 points, lost a critical jump ball to Charles Jones with 6.5 seconds left, and Pervis Ellison, who caught the tip, was fouled. Ellison hit one of two free throws to give the Bullets their margin of victory, as Antoine Carr's three-point shot came up short at the buzzer.

"We've been playing hard like this for the last five or six games," said Tom Hammonds, who led the Bullets with nine rebounds and added 10 points. "It's frustrating when you go out there and leave your guts on the floor and come up short."

Grant, who scored 10 points on 5-for-18 shooting, called the fight an unfortunate incident.

"Basketball is a tough sport. There's a lot of bumping and grinding. I don't think anyone threw a solid punch. I don't think I did and I know he didn't because I know I don't hurt," Grant said. "It's something that never should have happened. I've got a lot of respect for David."

Washington coach Wes Unseld agreed with Grant. "It's just one of those regrettable incidents," he said.

Robinson, the former Naval Academy star, was perplexed by the incident. "I totally did not expect that he would turn around and start swinging as he did. I didn't throw a punch in the whole thing, and they still threw me out. It's kind of strange. I mean, if you are going to get thrown out for fighting, you should at least get a chance to throw a punch," he said.

Adams wound up with six three-point shots, the NBA high this season, and also added seven assists. The Bullets were aggressive defensively too, coming up with 13 steals.

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