Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
After losing four straight games on the road, the Bullets said all they needed to turn things around was to get back to Capital Centre.
The Seattle SuperSonics said, "No, sir."
The scrappy Sonics made the Bullets resemble amateurs in the final minutes last night and came away with a 100-96 victory before 9,793.
It was Washington's fifth straight defeat, matching its longest losing steak of the NBA season. It dropped the Bullets into third place in the Central Division behind San Antonio as well as first-place Houston.
The Bullets and San Antonio play Sunday at Captial Centre.
"I fully expected tonight to be a very physical and emotional game on our part," Bullet coach Dick Motta said. "It wasn't. If I was a player I would have really been ready to play. This one hurt."
Motta added that he is not quite ready to grow panicky but the time is quickly approaching.
"If after two days of practice we are lethargic again against San Antonio, then it'll be time to be concerned," he said.
The Sonics, who have won four of their last five, all on the road, have been about as loose as a team can be.
They are quick and play a swarming defense that can be very annoying and hit the boards with abandon.
A three-point play by Wes Unseld gave the Bullets a 94-93 lead with 1:16 to play and raised hopes they might overcome the problems that had caused them to lose their four previous games in the final minute.
Slick Watts missed a shot, but Mike Green grabbed the offensive rebound and put it in to boost Seattle back on top, 95-94, with 56 seconds left.
Phill Chenier missed a jumper from the corner and Unseld missed a follow on the Bullets' turn down the floor.
Watts again penetrated for Seattle and when his layup attempt missed, Bob Wilkerson was there to tip it in and give the Sonics a 97-94 lead with 31 seconds left.
Seattle let Tom Henderson drive in for an uncontested layup with 24 seconds left to draw the Bullets back within one.
Then the magical Watts did the rest.
He took the inbounds pass in the backcourt and when Henderson and Chenier double-teamed him, he wisely called time. After the timeout, Watts inbounded the ball to Fred Brown and then got it right back. He dribbled around to just the right time, then fed Tom Burleson for a slam dunk over Elvin Hayes with 12 seconds left.
Hayes fouled Burleson and he made the free throw for the final margin.
Watts was pheonomenal virtually the entire game. He provided expert floor leadership, scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had 12 assista and four steals.
Watts got plenty of help from former Bullet Nick Weathespoon. Playing for the first time at Capital Centre since he was traded to Seattle, Weatherspoon showed his best, cool side. He scored 20 points and had 13 rebounds before hurting his knee and sitting out the game's final 10 minutes.
The Bullets were led by Chenler's 22 points, but he made only 10 of 30 shots from the field.
Hayes, who didn't start because of an injured left thumb, ended up playing 34 minutes anyway. He grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked four shots, but made only four of 15 shots.
The Bullets, as a team, shot 39 per cent from the field.
Actually it was one stretch in the third quarter that did the Bullets in as much as anything. They had a 13 point lead early in the period and threw it away.
A free throw by Hayes gave Washington a 69-61 lead with five minutes left in the quarter.
The Bullets turned the ball over on their next four possessions and the Sonics scored on every one to tie the score.