Reprinted from yesterday's late edition.
The Washington Bullets buries the so-Called Golden State jinx in speeding to their sixth straight victory last night, a 106-95 drubbing of the Warriors at Capital Centre.
The outcome moved the Bulets into first place in the NBA's Central Division, one-half game ahead of Cleveland, which lost to Chicago last night. It is the first time the Bullets have led the division this season.
The Warriors had won five straight games at Capital Centre and eight of their last nine meetings between the two.
Last night, however, the Bullets jumped to a 32-22 firstquarter lead and never let up on the Warriors.
The victory was also the Bullets' 12th in their last 14 games.
A number of players and a couple of stuble coaching moves by Dick Motta were responsible for the victory.
To begin with, Motta put massive Wes Unsled on the lithe Jamaal Wilkes and switched Elvin Hayes to Clifford Ray. The purpose was to keep Hayes, the Bullets' best shot-blockers, closer to the basket.
That worked finr, but the strategy proved even more effective because Wilkies, who went into the game with a 17.2 scoring average, missed his first 10 shots and made only one of 13 for the game. With him out of the offense, the Warriors were in trouble.
Unseld, who grabbed 15 rebounds and started numerous fast breaks with sizzling over-the-head outlet passes to midcourt, downplayed his defensive job on Wilkies.
"He had the shots. He was just missing." Unsled said. Wilkie agreed.
Another Warrior who had his shots was Rick Barry. He scored the Warriors' first 10 points and 16 of their first 18. Most of them were from beyond 20 feet as Kevin Grevey, playing on a sore ankle, tired in vain to keep up with him.
"I felt a little sorry for Kevin," Motta said. "I let it go to 14 points and I had to do something."
What Motta did to quiet Barry was to call on 6-foot-8, 240-pound Lenord Gray, who has a history of doing a job on Barry.
He did the job again. Barry finished the first half with 22 points but Gray started the second half and Barry scored only six more the rest of the game.
Gray also made seven of 12 shots and scored 16 points, his high as a Bullet.
Washington was running as well as it has all season and when the Warriorsdcollapsed into the illegal semizone defense they play, the Bullets moved the ball around until they got an open shot.
The Bullets moved to a 16-point lead midway through the second period and then, as Motta said, "Went into a rut."
Gus Williams started snaking his way in for some fance layups and reserve center Robert Parish started taking over inside. As a result, the Warriors cut the Bullets' lead to six, 57-51, at intermission and the 8,466 in attendance began getting nervous.
The Warrioes have had their problems in the third period all season and last night was no exception. They made only seven of 32 shots for a lowly 22 per cent and the Bullets went on to outscore them, 28-16 to take an 85,67 lead into the final 12 minutes.
The biggest lead of the night was 20 at 89-69 on a jumper by Larry Wright.
The Warriors tried frantically to catch up and got to within seven points on two occasion very late in the period, but the Bullets used the clock to their advantage and were never in any real danger.
Phil Chenier led a balanced Bullets attacked with 22 points and a season high 11 assists. Hayes had seven assists to go with his 18 points.
Parish, a seven-foot rookie from Centenary, scored 17 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Warriors.
As an indication of how well the Bullets moved the ball, they had 32 assists fot the game, compared with only 14 for the Warriors.
Gray's defensive job on Barry was most impressive. "He's so quick and such a good shooter that you just have to try to keep good body position on him." Gray said. "I did that and tried to put a hand in his face to block his view of the basket. It worked tonight."