Bullets step up for 2nd win in row Ellison scores 31 in 107-98 victory

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

DALLAS -- The Washington Bullets did not have the services of forward Harvey Grant last night because he participated in a fight two nights ago in San Antonio.

But Grant's absence did not take the fight out of the Bullets.

They overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat the Dallas Mavericks, 107-98, last night at Reunion Arena, the second consecutive victory on a five-game road trip.

Bullets center Pervis Ellison finished with 16 rebounds and a career-high 31 points, and point guard Michael Adams had a season-high 17 assists to go with 18 points.

The Bullets improved this season's record to 8-17; they are 6-9 on the road. After their four-game trip will end 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.

Defense was the key for the Bullets in their second-half comeback. They held the Mavericks to 36 points in the half and forced 8 turnovers against a team that leads the league in fewest turnovers with a 12.8 average.

In the fourth quarter, the Mavs made but 5-of-24 shots (21 percent).

Offensively, the Bullets got big second-half efforts from center Pervis Ellison and forwards Larry Stewart and Tom Hammonds, who combined for 44 points in the half. Stewart scored 19 points of his 21 points after halftime.

Ellison made 13 of 19 shots. His two jumpers over forward Terry Davis with just over four minutes left sparked the Bullets to a 14-8 run that ended the game.

L The Mavs were led by Herb Williams' 22 points off the bench.

Down by 11 points at the half, the Bullets got back into the game behind their defense. They allowed the Mavericks only 18 points, on 33 percent shooting, in the third period.

Stewart led the Bullets' offense, scoring 10 points as they closed 81-77 entering the fourth quarter.

Grant was suspended without pay for one game and fined $7,500 for his part in the fight with San Antonio center David Robinson Wednesday night. Robinson received a $5,000 fine but was not suspended.

Without Grant, Bullets coach Wes Unseld inserted Hammonds in the starting lineup. But whatever worries Unseld may have had about the small forward spot soon shifted to power forward.

The Bullets simply could not contain the Mavericks' power forwards in the first half. Davis scored 8 consecutive points midway in the first period to start a run in which the Bullets were outscored by 19-11. Meanwhile, Stewart had but 2 points.

It got worse for the Bullets in the second period. Reserve forward Herb Williams scored 17 points in the period, making 8-of-10 shots, to help the Mavericks open up a 63-52 halftime lead.

Williams' early points came against Hammonds, who was overmatched as the Bullets used a smaller lineup. Unseld then inserted Charles Jones, but he had just as much trouble. Williams scored 8 points in a 3-minute stretch against Jones as the Mavericks gradually took control of the game.

In all, the Mavericks made 72.7 percent of their shots in the period to the Bullets' 40.9 percent, outscoring Washington by 35-22.

Had it not been for Ellison (14 points) and Adams (13 points), the Bullets would have been run over in the first half. Guard A.J. English provided good offense in a reserve role with 12 points, on 6-for-8 shooting.

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