Walt, Sacramento play like Kings Williams, Webb lead 117-97 rout of Bullets

April 02, 1993|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- The Sacramento Kings and Washington Bullets have a lot in common -- two struggling, young teams bound for the NBA lottery.

But those were the only similarities they shared at the Capital Centre last night as the Kings registered their most lopsided road win of the season in embarrassing the Bullets, 117-97, before 7,910.

Buoyed by the homecoming of former Maryland star Walt Williams, who seemingly attracted the majority of the fans, the Kings (22-48) played like spirited contenders while the Bullets (20-50) performed like perennial also-rans.

Williams needed only 30 minutes to record 23 points. But the all-purpose guard was only a part of the Bullets' defensive problems.

Little Spud Webb (5 feet 7) had a big night, scoring a game-high 27 points on 11-for-14 shooting, and forward Anthony Bonner chipped in with 20 points and eight rebounds.

The Bullets played without center Pervis Ellison (knee), point guard Michael Adams (who became a father yesterday), and also lost acting starting center Charles Jones, who suffered strained ligaments in his right knee following a first-quarter collision with Duane Causwell.

Jones, a valuable defensive specialist, will have an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury. It is likely he will miss the remainder of the season.

But offering injuries as an excuse was hardly justifiable since the Kings also were without three of their main weapons -- scoring leader Mitch Richmond (knee) and forwards Lionel Simmons (hip) and Wayman Tisdale (heel).

"This was definitely embarrassing," said Bullets co-captain Harvey Grant. "The Kings had lost five straight and were on the road, playing without three starters. There's no excuse for us not winning.

"I'm not worried about how many ping-pong balls we'll have in the lottery. I'm worried about us playing basketball," he added. "Sometimes, the effort just isn't there, at least not for the whole 48 minutes."

Only rookie forward Tom Gugliotta (19 points, 18 rebounds), who was forced to play center after Jones' departure, held the fans' interest.

The Kings, who shot 54 percent from the field, rolled to an 84-67 lead after three quarters.

Gugliotta and fellow rookie Brent Price (14 points), filling in at point guard, sponsored a brief rally to trim the deficit to 90-81 with seven minutes left.

But in the next few minutes, Webb and second-year guard Randy Brown made a series of three-point plays to provide a 102-83 cushion.

The remaining five minutes were left for family and friends to cheer on Williams, the Temple Hills, Md., native making his first visit to his hometown area as a pro.

"It was nice hearing the cheers. It felt like I was back in Cole Field House," said the 6-8 guard who set a Maryland scoring record his senior year. "But I tried not to get too excited. I like to stay on the same wavelength so I can concentrate."

It was obvious Williams has a green light from rookie head coach Garry St. Jean to shoot when he sees daylight in the absence of Richmond.

"Every single night Walt grows and improves," St. Jean said of Williams, who missed 16 games in February with a fractured finger. "He's definitely the cornerstone of our future, a franchise-type player.

"But tonight, it wasn't just Walt. Spud gave us his best shooting night of the year, and Bonner and Brown also showed up big, especially on defense."

NOTES: Adams' wife, Kris, gave birth to a boy yesterday afternoon, their first child. He was christened Michael Christian Adams. . . . Bullets assistant coach Bill Blair missed last night's game because of the death of his mother in Lexington, Ky. . . . As a promotion for their game with Portland tomorrow night, the Bullets will hold an "Ugly Blazer" competition. The fan judged wearing the most outrageous sports coat by the crowd will win an all-expense paid trip for two to the Bahamas.

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