Nuggets run down Bullets

March 21, 1994|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Sun Staff Writer

DENVER -- For the Washington Bullets, the wear of the road -- and the wear of losing -- was noticeable last night against the Denver Nuggets. There was no emotion, no intensity, and, as a result, no win.

Looking like a team desperately wanting to go home after a long road trip, the Bullets lost to the Nuggets, 132-99, last night before a sellout crowd of 17,171 at McNichols Arena.

It was the fifth straight loss, and the 17th in the past 21 games for the Bullets. This current five-game road trip will end tonight in Houston.

Washington's only highlight was the performance of guard Rex Chapman, who scored a career-high 39 points on 15 of 25 from the field.

Aside from that, there was little else from the rest of the Washington starters, who scored 27 points on a combined eight of 25 from the field.

Meanwhile, for the Nuggets the game was more like a practice session, with all 11 players in uniform scoring. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf scored 23 points and seven players scored in double figures. It was a season high points for the Nuggets, who previously scored 128 against Detroit Jan. 29.

"What's happening has nothing to do with the road trip," said Bullets coach Wes Unseld. "It has nothing to do with how many bodies they have. Look at their five and look at our five."

Washington trailed by as many as 35 points and the final margin of defeat was the third time in the past four games -- and the sixth time this season -- that the Bullets have lost by 30 or more.

"It's not a good feeling," Chapman said. "I have career nights every so often, but I'd much rather have one when we win or when we're in a more competitive game."

Chapman, coming off a 24-point game in Portland on Friday, was hot early against Denver, scoring 10 points in the first 3:02. His second three-pointer, with 8:58 left in the quarter, had the Bullets in front, 12-5.

But Washington's lead was short-lived as the Nuggets responded with a 16-6 run that, following a three-pointer by Rodney Rogers, gave Denver a 21-18 lead.

The Bullets did tie the game at 21 after a jumper by Chapman with 2:04 left in the quarter, but the game was essentially over after that. Denver had a 26-23 lead at quarter's end, then started the second quarter with a 15-6 run to take a 41-29 lead.

"He was hot, so I just tried to go in and deny him the ball," Nuggets guard Robert Pack said of Chapman. "He was definitely on fire. But he's a good shooter, period."

NOTES: Pervis Ellison did not dress because of a sore right knee. . . . Andrew Gaze will sign a second 10-day contract today.

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