Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
'It was only their sixth loss in 38 games, 'but the Portland Trail Blazers weren't taking it philosophically.
That marvelously gifted machine that is the defending National Basketball Association champion and is coasting along with the best record in the league, was upended by the Washington Bullets, 102-93, last night at Capital Centre.
"I just don't like losing, any way you look at it," said center Bill Walton. Even though Portland already has won more game this season than it won in any of its first four years, the realization didn't help, Walton added. "Losing is losing."
"We were never in control of the game," said coach Jack Ramsey. "We didn't win because we let them be more aggressive and set the tempo. We didn't have the aggressivencess to establish position underneath or make the shots. It's been that way in each of the games we lost."
This was the first game of a sevengame Portland road trip, the longest of the season for the Trail Blazers.
Most coaches set goals on such trips, saying they want to win at least three of them, or hope for two victories. Not Ramsay.
"We want to win every game and if we do things right, there isn't any reason why we can't ," he said.
Portland's offense is an intricate passing game designed to get layups and short jumpers. The trouble last night was that the shorts were usually there, but they weren't going in and, with the Bulletts being the aggressors, with the Bulletts being the aggressors, the Trail Blazers were dead in the water.
Forwards Bob Gross and Maurice Lucas connected for only eight-of-28 shooting.
Walton, as he often does, picked up much of the slack.
In his steady manner, Walton scored 24 points on 10 of 17 field goals and added 14 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.
"I just try to do what I can to help the team win," he said, "and tonight we didn't.
On a number of occasions Walton showed flashes of the brillance that has moved him ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Abdul Jabbar as the premier center in the NBA.
He beat Elvin Hayes to the basket on a fast break and put in a long armed soft dunk going to his left that left Hayes dumbfounded.
After letting Hayes drive him to the baseline, he recovered to pound the ball back in Hayes' face as he tried a reverse layup.
Three times he scrambled on the floor after loose balls and came up with them.
"They (the Bullets) were just quicker to the ball than we were most of the time, and they made the big shots," Walton said. "They just beat us and that's all there is to that."
"We missed a lot of easy shots that we normally make," Ramsay added. "But Washington played very well. It deserved to win."