Bullets lose road advantage and lose to Chicago, 102-89

January 08, 1992|By Julie Deardorff | Julie Deardorff,Special to The Sun

CHICAGO -- It may have been when Chicago Stadium darkened and the song "Eye in the Sky" by The Alan Parsons Project resonated through the arena that the Washington Bullets sensed trouble.

Not only were they about to take the court against the defending world champion Chicago Bulls, but "Eye in the Sky" was the same song played before their home games.

And the Bullets, the only team in the NBA with a better record on the road (8-10) than at home (4-10), appeared to forget where they were, losing 102-89.

"I think the reason is we execute at the end of the ballgames on the road," said Pervis Ellison, who finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. "It's strange. It doesn't matter where you play, but it helps to win on the road. Those are the tough ones."

The loss was the second in a row for the Bullets, who were beaten by the New York Knicks at home before traveling to Chicago. It snapped a four-game road winning streak.

The Bulls have won five straight games at home and 11 of their past 13 games. They are 2-0 against the Bullets for the season, and in the past three meetings, including an exhibition game, they have won by 13 points.

"Washington has accepted being unwanted in a sense," said Bulls guard Michael Jordan, who led all scorers with 21 points. "You accept the boos on the road. When you go home and get the same treatment, that can be demoralizing."

There were few boos for Washington from Chicagoans, however, since the Bullets never posed much of a threat.

The teams were tied at 2 in the first quarter, but then 20-footers by Scottie Pippen and John Paxson and a three-pointer by Jordan sent Washington on a downward spiral.

In a game that generated little excitement, the most interesting moments of the opening quarter came when the Bulls' Horace Grant blocked the shot of his twin brother, Harvey.

"When Harvey hit that jumper on me, I felt small," Horace said. "I felt like a younger brother. He never wants me to score on him, though, and I got chills running back down the court after I stuffed him. But that's what being nine minutes older is all about."

Harvey outscored Horace, 19-11, but it was a pyrrhic victory.

"I'd have rather won the game, no question," Harvey said. "He could've scored 30 to my two and if we'd have won it would've been all the difference."

The two occasionally found themselves guarding each other, but Harvey insisted there was no jealousy between the two.

"I'm more of a finesse player and he's power," said Harvey. "He loves to rebound and play down low. I love the long-range jumper."

Harvey hit the jumper three times in the first half for nine points, but Jordan finished the first half with 19 points, helping the Bulls to a 54-43 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Washington cut the lead to 70-63 when Grant hit two free throws with 2:18 in the quarter, but after a Jordan steal and basket and a jumper by Cliff Levingston, the Bulls increased it to 74-63.

In the final period the Bulls padded the lead to 18 on a jumper by B. J. Armstrong with 2:56 to play.

Larry Stewart, who has averaged 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds in the past five games, scored two points in 23 minutes because of a twisted ankle.

"We weren't even sure if he was going to play," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld, whose team has missed a league-high 116 man-games because of injury this season.

"The good thing is that it's over with and it's supposed to snow here this weekend and we won't be here."

A. J. English and Ledell Eackles came off the bench to score 16 and 14, respectively, for the Bullets, and Michael Adams had 15.

Pippen had 17 for the Bulls, and Bill Cartwright (13), Armstrong (12) and Grant (11) also reached double figures.

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