Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The Bullets lost a game they should have won last night when they failed to get off a shot in three possessions during the final minute of play.
The Milwaukee Bucks weren't much better, but they recorded a Dave Meyers foul shot with five seconds left and two Junior Bridgeman free throws after time had expired to salvage a 106-103 victory at Capital Centre.
The Bullets struggled throughout the contest, committing 28 turnovers and missing a whopping 16 foul shots. But they saved their worst moments for last:
It began with an offensive foul against Bob Dandridge, who had beaten Meyers down the middle of the lane with 34 seconds to go and the game knotted at 103.
"I can't believe he (referee Jack Madden) said I was hooking," said Dandridge. "I never hook. Why should I? I had him beat, I knew where he was and all I was doing was letting him move into me."
Milwaukee gave the ball right back after two time-outs when Wes Unseld of Washington knocked away an Ernie Grunfeld pass. But Phil Chenier was called for walking by Madden with six seconds left.
On the ensuing in-bounding play at halfcourt, Elvin Hayes was called by Madden for pushing Meyers as he tried to dribbld along the sideline. Meyers, who had been elbowed in the mouth earlier and could hardly talk after the game, missed the first free throw with five seconds remaining and hit the second.
The Bullets called time, then tried to set up a screen for Chenier. But right after the ball had been passed inbounds, Madden said Hayes had shoved off Meyers near the basket and the ball went back to the Bucks. Bridgeman was fouled at the buzzer and made his free throws.
"He (Meyers) was behind me and he tried to get in front of me," said Hayes. "I turned and he hit into me. All Madden said was it was an offensive foul.
"He (Madden) was upset because someone yelled at him at the other end. He made all the crucial calls against us in the second half."
But the Bullets never should have let it come down to the final seconds. If they had hit even their season's (instead of 62 per cent last night), they would have won easily.
Mitch Kupchak was the most erratic, four for 12 from the line. He missed five in a row at one point. And Dandridge misfired on a try with 2:22 left that would have put Washington up by two.
Nor did Washington get much from Hayes, who pulled a hamstring muscle in the game's opening minutes and wound up with six points. He was only two of 12 from the field and didn't sink his first field goal until 7:15 was left in the game.
I didn't have any mobility or strength in the leg," said Hayes. "I couldn't do much of anything."
Coach Dick Motta wasn't around to watch Hayes closely. He had been tossed out of the game with 2:32 left in the first half when he charged the other official, Bernie Fryer, in a dispute over a walking call.
"He shouldn't have tossed me out," said Motta. "I didn't want to get thrown out, at least not that early." Fryer ejected assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff from the Houston game Saturday night; Bickerstaff directed the club last night in Motta's absence.