The Seattle SuperSonics put on a clinic of mistakes in their 117-82 defeat by the Washington Bullets yesterday.
But after the last air ball had fallen to earth, guard Freddy Brown smiled and said, "We're going to win Wednesday. Wednesday night will be all Seattle. Trust me."
The SuperSonics blamed themelves for the embarrassing defeat, in which the yshot 34 percent and were putrebounded, 69-49.
"We just played a horrible game," said forward John Johnson, who said he will start game seven Wednesday night, despite a swollen ankle that limited him to 24 minutes yesterday. "We hurt ourselves more than they hurt us. It was more our fault than theirs."
The Sonics oozed confidence after the rout, because it had been a breakdown so complete they were convinced nothing like it could happen again. Especially in the Seattle Coliseum, where they will bring a 22-game winning streak to the deciding NBA championship game.
"It's a mystery to me," guard Gus WIlliams said of his team's collapse. "Everyone really wanted the game. We didn't want to force ourselves into game seven. This is the type of game you've got to forget as soon as possible. Things just snowballed. Everything that could happen went their way.
"This will make us get that more up. We owe them one now. They could play that well Wednesday in Seattle if we let them. But we're not going to let them play that well in Seattle."
Brown said the Sonics might have been too anxious. A 13-4 spurt by the Bullets, with forward Bob Dandridge moved to guard, gave Washington a 47-35 lead at the half. The snowball was rolling.
"All of a sudden our inexperience showed," said Seattle Coach Lenny Wilkens. "Everybody was going to try to get us back in the game by himself - one on one. We haven't been out of sync like this in a long time."
Seattle center Marvin Webster, who made five of 14 shots, said Motta's switching Dandridge to guard and adding rookie Greg Ballard to the front "was not a big factor at all."
"We just weren't aggressive. I don't know why. Nothing would fall in - even the close ones. You start pressing, putting a little extra on your shots, and they spin out.
"When you're playing that type of game, nothing goes right."
Bobby Dandridge didn't hurt us," said Brown, who matched up with him and gave up four inches in height. "When he came out at guard, I said to him, 'What are you doing here?' He didn't throw me off (Brown was seven of 16 shooting). He made me laugh.
"We were too anxious to get it over with. Every rebound, every loose ball, every missed shot, every ball went into their hands. It wasn't that they rebounded better - the ball was just falling in their hands."
"A one-point loss would have been harder to take," said Dennis Johnson. "With the type of embarrassment we've just had, you can believe every guy will be ready.
"The switch they made helped out on the boards, helped out on the run, disrupted our guards a little. The (Seattle) guards had a bad shooting night (18 of 46) and I'm quite sure that won't happen in our place.
"I saw a lot of laughs, a lot of smiles at the end of the game. Anybody can laugh. But he who laughs last, laughs best."
"They were very aggressive," said forward Paul Silas, who was zero for four shooting. "They totally dominated us inside - that was the key.
"Things go wrong and you're not as patient shooting as you should be. There is a tendency to go one on one too much, which leaves people standing around, which negates your offensive rebounding and fuels their run. We were caught out of position so many times.
"If you don't have to look at the films, I think this game is okay," Silas said.