Smith helps put Bullets on road to win Guard's 16 points off bench big part of victory in Atlanta

January 06, 1993|By Calvin Watkins | Calvin Watkins,Contributing Writer

ATLANTA -- Michael Adams scored six points during a 12- run at the start of the fourth quarter to lead Washington to a 107-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks last night, only the Bullets' third road win of the season.

Adams sparked the Bullets with three jumpers and a layup during the run.

He did have help: Harvey Grant had 18 points, Pervis Ellison had 17 points and LaBradford Smith had a season-high 16 points off the bench.

"I came in early to give Rex [Chapman] some rest and just so happened that my shot was falling and breaks were going my way so the coach stuck with me a little bit," said Smith.

Since breaking a nine-game losing streak against Atlanta last Monday, the Bullets have won three of four games and two in a row.

The Hawks, who have lost seven straight home games, their worst such streak in 14 years, were led by Duane Ferrell and Stacey Augmon, who each scored 25 points. Calvert Hall grad Ferrell shot 11-for-20 from the field before fouling out with 2:48 to play.

"I thought we played very hard defensively, we just made a few mistakes offensively," said Ferrell.

Bullets coach Wes Unseld watched his team break a 50-50 tie at halftime with a 15-4 run at the end of the third period to take an 81-72 advantage.

"We were doing some things on offense and stuck with LaBradford because we saw some things we were hoping to see. We had a couple of baskets toward the end of the third quarter that were the key, and [Paul] Graham getting hurt took a lot out of them," Unseld said.

Graham, who had scored more than 20 points in each of his last three games, injured an ankle late in the second period and did not return.

Atlanta went without a basket from 3:16 of the third to 10:06 of the fourth, a span of five minutes, as the Bullets took a commanding lead at 93-76 with 7:52 to play in the game.

Washington then went scoreless for seven minutes and the Hawks cut the lead to 103-97 with 55 seconds left when Travis Mays scored five straight points.

But the Bullets came back with four in a row to put the game out of reach.

"Teams in the past have been able to make a run at us when we have a lead, but now we're starting to come of age," said Ellison.

"We're starting to win those games down the stretch. In order for us to a successful team, we have to have a balanced attack."

The win improved Washington's road record to 3-13. "It's nice to win on the road," Unseld said. "If you look at our schedule over the last couple of weeks we've played teams with .500-plus records."

Added Grant: "Any time you win on the road it proves how good a team you're becoming. We believe in each other now. We feel we can play with anybody in the NBA."

The Hawks were playing their ninth straight game without the injured Dominique Wilkins.

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