Bullets run out of bang, 106-84

February 07, 1994|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Sun Staff Writer

LANDOVER -- As the Golden State Warriors spent a good part of Saturday flying in from the West Coast, the Washington Bullets were enjoying the luxury of home. So it was surprising yesterday, at the end of the game, to see which team had legs.

The Bullets in the fourth quarter yesterday had none. Nothing. Zero.

Actually, they scored seven points in the quarter -- establishing a franchise low for a quarter and matching an NBA record for fewest points in a fourth quarter -- in their 106-84 loss before a sell-out crowd of 18,756 at USAir Arena.

Yesterday's events turned quickly. With 5:48 left in the third quarter, the Bullets had a 73-61 lead after a free throw by Calbert Cheaney. From that point it appeared the Warriors were responding to a starter's gun, looking like a track team as they finished with a 45-11 run.

Washington scored only two field goals in the final quarter, much of which they spent flat-footed.

"We flat ran out of gas," Bullets' coach Wes Unseld said. "They overplayed us and switched, and we were not able to take advantage of them. From the last part of the third [quarter] we couldn't buy a shot."

In the fourth quarter, the Bullets' two baskets, a hook by Tom Gugliotta with 8:40 left and a layup by Cheaney with 7:51 left, brought them to 88-81. The quarter tally: two of 16 field-goals attempts for 12.5 percent.

"They just picked up the intensity and got a lot of fast-break baskets," the Bullets' Pervis Ellison said of the Warriors. "We didn't have any balance."

Much of the intensity was provided by rookie Chris Webber, who scored 14 of his game-high 26 points after the Warriors were down by 12 in the third quarter. Webber, who also had 12 rebounds and five assists, seemingly had an open lane, which helped him make 12 of 15 shots.

"He played a terrific second half," Warriors coach Don Nelsosaid. "That's how we want him to play all of the time. When he plays that way, he's awesome."

He wasn't alone. All-star guard Latrell Sprewell had 23 pointseight rebounds and six assists, forward Billy Owens had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Chris Mullin came off the bench for 19 points (eight of 14) and five assists. During their 45-11 run, the Warriors' top four combined to score 41.

"They made a lot of switches on us defensively, and wpanicked," said Cheaney, who finished with 19 points, but made just one of seven shots in the fourth quarter. "We didn't know how to adjust to the switching. We panicked."

And watched. Watched as the Warriors, out-rebounded 27-17 athe half, had a 17-6 edge in the fourth quarter. Those boards fueled Golden State's fast break, which helped the Warriors shoot 65.0 percent in the final quarter.

Nelson went with a big backcourt in the fourth quarter, pairin6-foot-5 Sprewell and 6-7 Mullin against the Bullets' 5-10 Michael Adams and 6-7 Cheaney. That lineup held the Bullets to no assists in the final quarter.

The Bullets will attempt to pick themselves up during a three-game road trip, which begins tomorrow night in San Antonio. Unseld will have to decide on his starting center. He sat Kevin Duckworth for the entire game for the first time this season.

Unseld gave Gheorghe Muresan his first career start yesterday, and the 7-7 rookie scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 24 minutes. The move may have been a message to Duckworth: Shape up, or find comfort on the bench.

"How many teams do you know that play three centers?" Unseld said, when asked about the move. "It's just not going to work. And I've talked this over with Duckworth."

Duckworth, the only Bullet in uniform who did not play, would not discuss the matter.

"Don't come up to me with nothing about that," said Duckworth, who played just nine minutes in Friday's win at Philadelphia.

Muresan did create problems for the Warriors and helped the Bullets open their third-quarter lead. Several times he was matched against Webber, who came away impressed.

"He's a big human being," Webber said. "He's not 'sorry.' He's good. He's big. He can rebound. He's definitely a player."

Coincidence or not, the game began to get away from the Bullets after Muresan left with 4:56 remaining in the third quarter and Washington leading 73-63.

NOTES: In addition to setting a franchise record for fewest points in a quarter (previous was nine against the Los Angeles Lakers in 1964), the Bullets' 27 points in the second half also was a record (previous was 31, against the Boston Celtics in 1964). . . . The only other NBA team to score only seven points in a fourth quarter since the introduction of the 24-second clock (1954-55) was the Houston Rockets, against the Lakers on Nov. 15, 1991. . . . The NBA record for fewest points in a quarter is four (most recently the Sacramento Kings, against the Lakers in 1987). FG FT Reb

BULLETS' BLANKS

The Bullets set a franchise record for fewest points in a quarter and tied an NBA mark for fewest points in a fourth quarter yesterday when they scored just seven against Golden State:

Time .. .. .. .. ..Play .. .. .. .. .. ..Score

8:37 .. .. .. ..Gugliotta layup .. .. ...G.S.,

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..88-79

7:51 .. .. .. .. Cheaney layup .. .. .. .G.S.,

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..88-81

7:18 .. .. .. .. .Muresan 2 FTs .. .. ...G.S.,

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..90-83

2:05 .. .. .. .. ..Adams 1 FT .. .. .. ..G.S.,

.. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . .. .102-84

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