The Cleveland Cavaliers, fighting for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, will meet the Bullets tonight at 8:05 in Capital Centre.
The Cavaliers took a three-game winning streak into last night's home game with San Antonio.
They were fifth in the conference standings, one game behind fourth-place New York, two behind third-place Washington and 1 1/2 ahead of sixth-place Atlanta. Only six teams in the conference qualify for the play-offs.
Cleveland won the last game against Washington, 110-93, onits court in February. Center Elmore Smith had 32 points and 24 rebounds.
The Bullets took two earlier meetings,beating Cleveland, 100-94, at Cleveland and 96-95 at Capital Centre.
Cleveland guard Walt Fraizer played in only the February game. Troubled by a bad foot, Fraizer is not expected to play tonight. Starting in his spot will be former Mackin High and Notre Dame star Austin Carr, who has had an outstanding season after surviving early trade rumors.
Cleveland has not changed its deliberate style this season, but Coach Bill Fitch has been using former center Jim Chones at forward in place of Jim Brewer.
A victory by the Cavaliers tonight could set them up for a strong run at third place.
Their remaining schedule is favorable. They have home games against Detroit, Buffalo and Milwaukee before closing the regular season with road games at Atlanta and Kansas City.
Cleveland relies mainly on strong defense. The Cavaliers are ranked third in the league in this category, allowing only 104 points per game. But they are 20th in offense (103.8).
Forward Campy Russell, who may become a free agent at the end of the season averages 19 points a game as their leading scorer.
Washington will be trying to snap out of its losing ways at home. The Bullets have dropped four of their last six home games to prevent them from wrapping up third place.
Elvin Haues will attend the funeral of his grandmother, who died Wednesday, and will not be withthe team tonight, according to a club official.