After another sad ending, Bullets look to find new finishing touch

December 07, 1992|By From Staff Reports

Wes Unseld has seen this kind of ending before. But that didn't make Saturday night's version any easier to take.

"We had a tough time scoring down the stretch," the Washington Bullets coach said of a 111-109 loss to the Indiana Pacers at the Capital Centre.

"I think we just didn't get it done. We executed, we got a good shot, but we didn't execute well enough at the end. That is indicative of this year."

The Bullets lost a 109-101 lead in the last 3:02, going scoreless despite several makeable shots. Harvey Grant went inside for a layup, but he was stripped of the ball, and Pervis Ellison missed a jump shot in the lane in the final minute.

Washington also lost a chance to build a victory around rookie Tom Gugliotta's first NBA triple double. Gugliotta had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

"We were working our offense, but we were moving side to side instead of up and down the court," Gugliotta said.

"I think what you saw is what happens to a young team down the stretch. It helps to have a lot of experience to finish a game, and it doesn't hurt to get a little help, to get a few calls. I think if we had some more veteran players out there, we would have gotten those."

Indiana's Rik Smits put back a rebound of Reggie Miller's miss to give the Pacers the lead, 110-109, with three seconds remaining.

The Bullets tried one desperate inbounds play. Gugliotta attempted an alley-oop pass to Ellison under the basket, but just before the ball arrived, Ellison was nudged from his position and couldn't bring the pass down.

"Pervis was open, but he let himself be moved out," Unseld said.

"You have to hold your position in that situation," Unseld said. "You get open, and you don't let someone move you out."

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