Bullets feel run-down, road-weary Warriors gain revenge for rout

February 16, 1993|By Susan Fornoff | Susan Fornoff,Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Washington Bullets' longest road trip of the season started to feel eternal Sunday night after a 114-94 loss to the Golden State Warriors. But the team's youngest starter says the schedule isn't excuse enough for the 15-34 Bullets.

"I think the schedule wears down every team in the league, so we're no different," said rookie Tom Gugliotta. "We started off real well, and now we're starting to slip a bit. We're not even able to stay in the game. We're getting blown out, and that is something I don't think should happen."

Nine days earlier, the Bullets had dealt the Warriors their most lopsided loss of the season, 138-111, at the Capital Centre. Eight Bullets scored in double figures in that game; seven Warriors had 12 points or more on Sunday. Reserve forward Jud Buechler led the winners with a career-high 17 points, and starters Tyrone Hill and Sarunas Marciulionis added 15 each.

"A couple of guys before the game mentioned that they had really embarrassed us, really whipped our butts, at their place," Buechler said. "Payback was a nice feeling."

"They just were a totally different team tonight," said Warriors coach Don Nelson. "But maybe we were, too. . . . It's hard to figure all the reasons why."

Nelson said, though, that you could start with the schedule: Landover had been the Warriors' fourth stop on a five-game trip Feb. 5, and Oakland was the Bullets' fifth layover on a seven-game trip. Both teams had played on the road Saturday night, but the Warriors had bused just 90 miles up the freeway to break a seven-game losing streak by a point at Sacramento, while the Bullets had lost by 19 at Denver on Saturday night.

"That is the big key," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld. "I don't want to make excuses for these guys, but I don't have the type of bodies that can play seven games in 10 days and do good things on the court."

Said Gugliotta: "They just out-hustled us."

Gugliotta committed five turnovers, and the Bullets turned the ball over 22 times to the Warriors' 14, accounting for a 15-point difference in the score. The turnover differential was 8-2 in the first period alone, as, for the second straight night, the Bullets faded early and showed few signs of reviving.

The game was tied at 14 with 4:42 remaining in the first period, when the Warriors took off on a 17-4 run that extended into the second.

The Bullets closed within 66-59 with 7:06 remaining in the third period, but the Warriors scored eight straight points to run away with it.

"I don't remember exactly who killed us," Unseld said. "In my recollection, everybody killed us."

Chris Gatling scored 14, Victor Alexander 13 and Tim Hardaway and Latrell Sprewell 12. Gatling and Byron Houston achieved season highs in rebounds, with 12 and 11, respectively. The Warriors pounded the boards by a 54-41 margin; the Bullets managed six offensive rebounds to the Warriors' 19.

"They did a real good job pounding us, and we didn't react too well," Unseld said. "I think a good reaction would have been if we could have pounded back. I thought they just pushed us around and we didn't push them back -- nobody did."

The good news for the Bullets was Pervis Ellison: He scored 18 points. The bad news was Rex Chapman sprained his right ankle with 1:54 to go in the half and will return home for further examination.

The rest of the team proceeded to Seattle for the sixth stop on Washington's longest trip.

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