The last time the Washington Bullets saw the Houston rockets, Moses Malone and team mates were winning their NBA playoff series last spring in six games.

Tonight, the Bullets will find out if Bob Dandridge and a summer's rest will help them perform a bit more efficiently against the Rockets. The clubs get together for the first of four meetings this season at 9:05 (EST) at Houston. The game will be televised over WDCA-TV-20.

The Rockets chose to stand pat after getting beat by Philadelphia in the playoffs. They have the same cast as last year: John Lucas and Mike Newlin at the guards.Kevin Kunnert, Malone and Rudy Tomjanovich in the front court.

Lucas is off to a spectacular start. The former Maryland star is leading the league in assists, averaging 15 a game, and has tied an NBA record with 12 assists in one quarter.

Malone is fourth in the league in rebounding, averaging 142 a game. while Tomjanovich is scoring at a 242 point-a-game clip.

Coach Tom Nissalke, who wants the Rockets to run more than they did last year, still goes to his bench quickly, turning to such players as Calvin Murphy and Dwight Jones, the man who did such a fine job against Elvin Hayes in the playoffs.