Bullets step up for 2nd win in row Ellison scores 31 in 107-99 victory

December 21, 1991|By Mike McAllister | Mike McAllister,Special to The Sun

DALLAS -- As center Pervis Ellison scanned the box score after the Washington Bullets' 107-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks last night, teammate Ralph Sampson pointed out the vital statistics.

A career-high 31 points. Sixteen rebounds. Four blocked shots. All by Ellison in 45 terrific minutes.

"You've got to take that home and frame it," Sampson said.

Ellison just might. With forward Harvey Grant suspended for last night's game for fighting David Robinson in Wednesday's game at San Antonio, the Bullets needed someone to step up against the Mavericks.

There was none bigger than the 6-foot-10 Ellison, who has a habit of big performances at Reunion Arena. He made a name for himself while leading Louisville to the NCAA championship here in 1986, and the place has treated him well since.

"Some places you just like to play," Ellison said. "I haven't ever gotten under 25 [points] in this building."

Certainly he provided the big plays when the Bullets needed them most. He had 11 points and six rebounds in the fourth period and had key blocks when the game was still tight.

But Ellison wasn't the only one who stepped up his game. The Bullets overcame an 11-point halftime deficit by tightening up their defense.

They limited the Mavericks to 36 second-half points, frustrating what had been some hot shooters. Dallas shot only 33 percent in the third period and was even worse in the fourth (5-of-24, 21 percent).

The leading Dallas scorer, Herb Williams, had 17 points in the second period and 19 at halftime. At that point, the Bullets certainly could have used Grant.

But they didn't need him in the second half, as Williams was held to three in finishing with 22. Veteran Charles Jones did much of the defensive work on Williams.

"We just picked up our defense a lot better," Jones said. "We were more active in the third quarter than the second quarter. We had to pick it up."

Meanwhile, the Bullets improved on offense -- not only Ellison but also rookie forward Larry Stewart, who had 19 of his 21 points in the second half. Tom Hammonds had 14 points in place of Grant.

Guard Michael Adams had a season-high 17 assists to go with 18 points.

As a result, the Bullets improved to 8-17 this season and 6-9 on the road. After their four-game trip ends in Denver tonight, the Bullets will get the next five nights off -- a welcome relief for a team that has played 15 of its first 25 games on the road this season.

But maybe the Bullets are better on the road -- they have a 6-9 record away from the Capital Centre.

"I'd just as soon stay on the road," Bullets coach Wes Unseld said. "The biggest thing is we've just been healthier on the road than at home."

It didn't look good for the Bullets in the first half: They simply could not contain the Mavericks' power forwards. Terry Davis scored 8 consecutive points midway in the first period to start a run in which the Bullets were outscored by 19-11.

It got worse for the Bullets in the second period. Williams scored 17 points, making eight of 10 shots, to help the Mavericks open a 63-52 halftime lead.

Williams' early points came against Hammonds, who was overmatched as the Bullets used a smaller lineup. Unseld then inserted Jones, but he had just as much trouble. Williams scored eight points in a three-minute stretch against Jones as the Mavericks took control.

FG------ FT

Washington----- Min---- M-A---- M-A---- Reb---- A---- PF---- Pts.

Hammonds------- 30------- 6-15--- 2-4---- 9---- 0----- 3---- 14

Stewart-------- 39---- 8-14------ 5-5------ 9---- 1---- 4---- 21

Ellison-------- 45----- 13-19----- 5-6----- 16---- 2---- 3---- 31

Adams---------- 44---- 6-19------ 3-3----- 7------ 17----- 2---- 18

Wingate-------- 39----- 2-6------ 2-2----- 1----- 3----- 1----- 6

Eackles--------- 11----- 1-3------ 1-1----- 0----- 2----- 1----- 3

English--------- 14------ 7-9------ 0-0---- 0----- 1---- 2----- 14

Sampson--------- 4----- 0-2------- 0-0------- 1--- 1---- 0----- 0

Jones----------- 14------ 0-1----- 0-0---- 3---- 0--- 2---- 0

Totals------ 240----- 43-88------- 18-21------ 46------ 27---- 18---- 107

Percentages: FG .489, FT .857. 3-point goals: 3-10, .300 (Adams 3-9, Sampson 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 9 (Ellison 4, Wingate 3, Jones 2). Turnovers: 16 (Adams 6, Stewart 4, Wingate 4, Ellison, English). Steals: 9 (Stewart 3, Adams 2, Wingate 2, Eackles, Jones). Technical fouls: None. Illegal defense: None.

FG-------- FT

DALLAS-------- Min----- M-A------ M-A----- Reb---- A---- PF---- Pts.

McCray------- 32------- 2-11----- 4-4----- 14---- 4---- 3--- 8

T.Davis------ 30------- 5-9------ 2-2----- 9----- 0----- 4----- 12

Donaldson----- 32----- 3-5----- 1-2------ 9----- 3----- 1----- 7

Harper-------- 38----- 6-16----- 0-0---- 2---- 8---- 2---- 14

Blackman------ 38------ 7-20---- 2-2------ 5---- 3---- 0---- 16

Smith--------- 21---- 5-12----- 3-4----- 3----- 4------ 4---- 13

B.Davis-------- 17----- 3-6---- 1-1------- 0------ 3---- 2---- 7

Williams------- 28----- 10-15----- 2-4---- 5---- 0---- 4--- 22

Iuzzolino----- 4---- 0-0----- 0-0----- 0----- 1---- 1----- 0

Totals------- 240------ 41-94----- 15-19----- 47---- 26---- 21---- 99

Percentages: FG .436, FT .789. 3-point goals: 2-12, .167 (Harper 2-5, B.Davis 0-1, McCray 0-3, Blackman 0-3). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 5 (Donaldson 3, McCray, Williams). Turnovers: 13 (Harper 3, McCray 2, T.Davis 2, Smith 2, Williams 2, Blackman, B.Davis). Steals: 9 (Harper 2, Blackman 2, Smith 2, McCray, B.Davis, Williams). Technical fouls: None. Illegal defense: None.

Washington---- 30---- 22--- 25----- 30 -- 107

Dallas---- 28---- 35---- 18---- 18 -- 99

A--14,491. T--1:59. Officials: Ed F. Rush, Wally

Rooney, Jim Capers.

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