Bullets go cold in loss to the Heat

January 24, 1994|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

MIAMI -- What perfect timing for the Washington Bullets to escape for a few days in Florida, where they can enjoy the warm weather and the packed beaches. Unfortunately for the Bullets, they apparently left their game in a deep freeze last night.

Looking to win their second straight against a Miami Heat team that entered the game with seven straight losses, the Bullets instead wound up with their worse loss of the season, 113-80. The crowd of 14,802 at the Miami Arena were witness to the 600th win of coach Kevin Loughery's career.

It was the lowest point total of the season for the Bullets, who scored 82 points in a season-opening loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. In a flat effort from the opening quarter, when they fell behind by as many as 16 points, the Bullets shot 38.0 percent from the field and were out-rebounded, 50-29.

"We played like we'd been up all night," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld, whose team chartered to Miami following Saturday's win over the Detroit Pistons. "There are some things which concern me, not just getting beat by 30. It's not cut-and-dry fundamentals, it's individuals."

Although in uniform, a lot of individuals had the night off. Point guard Michael Adams was scoreless in 30 minutes, missing all four of his shots. Forward Tom Gugliotta scored eight points and grabbed just three rebounds in 31 minutes. And starting center Kevin Duckworth was on the court for just 18 minutes, scoring seven points.

"They came out and simply beat us in every category that you look at," Gugliotta said. "We just couldn't keep up with them . . . we didn't play well at all and we got what we deserved."

And that was a thorough spanking, with the 33-point spread marking the second biggest victory in the six-year history of the Heat.

At times the Heat, which recently has been playing just a step above the lowly Dallas Mavericks, looked like NBA champions. Guard Steve Smith scored 18 points and had a career-high 15 assists -- two more than the Bullets' team. Twelve of those assists came in the first half, establishing a franchise record.

"I was see the court well tonight," Smith said.

So could forward Glen Rice, who scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first quarter. Add in the 17 rebounds by Ron Seikaly, and the Heat had efforts that cured their current woes. Every Heat player that dressed scored.

"They hit all their shots, Glen Rice came out and had a great first half and the rest was history," said Calbert Cheaney.

Cheaney's 15 points led the Bullets, with Don MacLean and Doug Overton adding 14 and 10, respectively.

Gheorghe Muresan's fourth-quarter action was his first in five games. To the delight of the crowd, Loughery responded by inserting Manute Bol into the game for just the second time in the last 22 games. The NBA's tallest matchup (7-foot-7 Muresan vs. the 7-7 Bol) made the final minutes at least entertaining. Muresan outscored Bol, 6-2, and had a 7-6 rebounding advantage.

NOTES: The Heat set season highs in field-goal percentage (60.3 percent -- third highest in franchise history) and assists (34). Washington's 15 defensive rebounds were the lowest ever against Miami. . . . Miami's starting lineup outscored Washington's, 72-44, and had the edge on the boards (32-10)

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