Bullets rough up Warriors Washington's 138-111 rout is biggest victory of season

February 06, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- Victories don't often come this easily in the NBA, especially for a young team wallowing at the bottom of its division.

But the Bullets enjoyed more than a laugher last night. They had an outright frolic while rolling over the defenseless Golden State Warriors, 138-111, before a sellout crowd of 18,756 at the Capital Centre.

Washington (13-30) led by as many as 31 points in its most one-sided victory of the season, fast-breaking almost at will while building a 73-45 half time lead and coasting home against the second-poorest defensive team in the league.

Forward Buck Johnson made his eighth straight start and thrived in the running game that produced 69-percent first-half shooting and 64 percent for the game.

Johnson, who was coming off a 29-point effort in a loss to the New York Knicks, and Pervis Ellison each scored 20 points to pace eight double-figure scorers.

"I'm more comfortable in the transition game," said Johnson. "If we play a set offense and the play is not set up for me, I usually won't take the shot. But on the break, I'll let them go."

Despite the margin of victory, there still was no excess celebration in the Bullets' locker room afterward.

"It was a situation where they [Warriors] had played the night before and they didn't get off to a good start," said Ellison. "It was all downhill from there."

Golden State (20-26) dropped its ninth consecutive road game, its longest road losing streak since a 13-game skid in 1989, and fifth in a row overall.

Its two stars, Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin, had their personal miseries. Hardaway went 0-for-6 from three-point range and finished with 12 points. Mullin left the game in the second half because of an aggravation of the injury to his right wrist.

Mullin had only four points before leaving, ending his streak of 301 successive games in double figures. Only Michael Jordan at 544 has a longer such streak.

"They were a little road-weary and hurting a little bit," Bullets coach Wes Unseld said. "And they obviously missed a player the caliber of Mullin. That allowed us to do some things, play the way we wanted to."

Golden State made one mini-run after its horrendous first half, closing to 95-79 at the end of the third period behind a 14-point spurt by Sarunas Marciulionis. But it had neither the resources nor the energy to sustain the comeback.

Mullin said he will consult doctors about his injury when the team returns to California after the weekend. "I'm a little stubborn with injuries. I try to force them out," he said. "I try to tell myself that it [wrist] is not going to affect me but I does. The pain I can deal with. The not being able to help the team, I can't."

Warriors coach Don Nelson, who was ejected with 6:18 left in the third quarter, said Mullin was hit on the wrist several times and "the pain became almost too much to bear.

"Right now our team is going through some hard times. All teams go through them at one time or another. We must learn to deal with it."

It was the first meeting of the season between two of the NBA's youngest teams, and the Bullets took full advantage of the circumstances.

Their offensive outburst was their most prolific of the season, exceeding the 126 points they scored in a victory over Utah on Nov. 21.

Johnson said he believed the game was "one of our best as far as getting out there and running. We had not really executed the break like this."

It was only the second victory in the past 10 games for Washington, now 10-12 at home.

"There's no reason to celebrate," said Ellison. "We took advantage of their problems. I don't think this was our best game despite the margin.

"The two guys we try to shut down [Hardaway and Mullin] were never really in it."

Unseld admitted that the Bullets are better when "we can get out and run," but rarely do the opportunities come so easily as last night.

"Seattle [tonight's opponent] was sitting up there in the stands watching, so I don't feel that good about playing them," said Unseld.

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