The Washington Bullets, battling for first place in the Central Division and a high seed in the National Basketball Association playoffs, will play the disappointing New York Knicks at 1:45 p.m. Sunday at Capital Centre.

The Knicks have only a slight chance of making it to the playoffs. They have the horses in Bob McAdoo (25.5 points and 12.9 rebounds), Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier, but a leg injury to Spencer Haywood has hurt them.

Sunday's game will be the Bullets' third in three days. They played the Knicks at Madison Square Garden Saturday night, while the Houston Rockets, who hold a 2 1/2-game lead, hosted Kansas City.

The Bullets played one of their better games Friday when they ran over the Boston Celtics, 122-97, at Boston Garden to sweep the season series, 4-0. Washington led by as many as 37 points in the fourth quarter.

The bench, sparked by Dave Bing, Mitch Kupchak, Larry Wright and Leonard Gray, got the Bullets going. They led a second-quarter spurt in which the Bullets scored 7 unanswering points and outscored the bewildered Celtics, 24-2.

Six players, led by Elvin Hayes' 23 points, scored in double figures for the Bullets, Hayes also had 19 rebounds.

After today's game, the Bullets head for San Antonio and a Tuesday game against the Spurs. They return to Capital Centre for a Wednesday game against Leonard Robinson and the Atlanta Hawks.

The Bullets have one game left with the Rockets, an April 1 date at Capital Centre.