Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The Kansas City Kings rallied in the finals seven minutes of play tonight for a 101-99 victory over the Washington Bullets.
Sam Lacey not only contibuted the King's last six points - the final two with eight seconds to play - but it was his clutch defense and rebounding that made it possible for the Kings to stretch their winning streak to six.
Washington, which has lost four straight, all on the road, appeared to have this one locked up with 7:44 to go after Leonard Gray put the Bullets ahead, 85-74.
The Kings, meanwhile, were simply miserable from the field, when they managed to hang onto the ball long enough to get a shot off.
But Ollie Johnson finally got things going with a three-point. From there Ron Boone, Scott Wedman and Lacey kept them going.
Boone, who wound up with 30 points, tied it at 90-all, and then Wedman gave Kansas City the lead at 95-93 with a pair of free throws with 1:35 to play.
Phil Chenier, who matched his season high with 38, tied the game at 95. Lacey then scored twice to give the Kings a 99-95 lead with 43 seconds to play.
Lacey's first basket came on an overhand layup after backing into Mitch Kupchak, a move that prompted Bullet coach Dick Motta to question the capabilties of the officiating. Lacey's second bucket was a medium-range shot from the right side of the free throw line.
It might not have been the type of shot a coach would like to see at that critical stage of the game, but it looked like a masterpiece when it filled the hole.
"There was no second-guessing," said Lacey. "I just took the shot. Nothing was running through my mind. It was just a sunny day . . . a clear shot."
Tom Henderson scored for the Bullets to bring them to within two, 99-97. But Lacey grabbed on offensive rebound and was fouled by Kupchak. His two free throws were enough to send the Bullets home losers.
Hayes scored with six seconds left but the Kings managed to run out the final six seconds.
"I don't think there was apoint where we lost it," said Bullet center Wes Unseld. "I think you should give them (Kansas City) some credit. They hit some good shots and took advantage of some mistakes."
Washington, which has now lost its last six road games, remains tied with San Antonio, in second place in the Central Division, two games behind Houston.
Kansas City rallied from an early first-quarter deficit to take a 48-46 lead into the half time break.
The Kings were able to stop Hayes, who had scored 40 or more points in three of his last eight games, but Chenier and Wright provided Washington's scoring. Hayes was limited to six first-half points.
Chenier, working against Boone and later Barr and Hansen, hit six of his first eight shots and collected 17 points in the first quarter.
That gave the Bullets a 31-24 lead after the opening 12 minutes.
When Chenier went to the bench for a blow, Wright popped in 10 second-quarter points.
The Kings, who shot only 43 per cent in the first quarter, then outscored Washington, 10-4, on baskets by Mike Barr, Brian Taylor, Ollie Johnson, Glenn Hanson and Wedman, to trail, 35-34.
Kansas City finally tied it at 44-all with 1:35 to play, the moved ahead when Taylor and Boone scored around a bucket by Wright.
After hitting 60 per cent of their shots in the first period, the Bullets tailed off to 42 per cent for the half, the Kings also wound up with 42 per cent at the midway point.