"They were always one step ahead of us the whole series.We could never seem to do anything to get us going," said Bullet center Wes Unseld after last night's 97-93 Seattle victory gave the SuperSonics the 1979 NBA championship.
"I don't want to make any excuses. We just finished second," Unseld said. "I'm disappointed. I though we would do better, but we lost. At least it was the best team in basketball."
Bobby Dandridge, who was forced to play guard most of the fourth period because of injuries to the starting back court of Kevin Grevey and Tom Henderson, said Seattle was just a better team.
"They did more things right to win." Dandrudge said. "They executed better. They played better defense. They ran a better fast break. They did the things they needed to control us and we couldn't control them."
Coach Dick Motta, who after the game lingered on the court long enough to wave at the crowd and hug Seattle's assistant coach, Les Habeggers, said, "Even toward the end I felt we could pull it out. But when Kevin and Tom went down with injuries I guess it only delayed the inevitable. But who knows about the Bullets?
"I don't like making excuses, but we had a tough time in this series. Seattle played real well and responded when it had to. We didn't start off as I hoped we would in the last couple of games, but I was very pleased with the attitude of my team. They didn't quit."
Grevey played only three minutes before reinjuring his right hamstring and Henderson with the first minutes of the third period before injuring his ankle.
Larry Wright was the Bullets' most effective guard, but he had problems defensing Gus Williams in addition to doing most of the ballhandling.
"Losing Kevin and Tommy hurt us mainly because it took away all of our depth," Wright said. "We didn't have many options left after they got hurt, but we did the best we could. The best team won. We have nothing to feel sorry about. They were just better. They earned their world championship."
The Bullets never managed to control the game's tempo, even when they had an 11-point lead in the first quarter.
"It was a funny game," Unseld said. "Personally, I could never get into it."
Unseld got only three rebounds and had six points in 44 minutes.
"We went inside to E (Hayes) and Bobby thw whole game like we usually do and that made the rest of us stand around and not get involved," he said."You can say we were tired and that our guards were hurt, but those are all excuses and I don't want to make excuses," Unseld said.
Depite losing their starting guards and losing Dandridge on fouls in the final 1:29, the Bullets still would have had a chance to win, if they could have grabbed a rebound.
Dennis Johnson missed a 16-footer with 38 seconds left and the Sonics on top, 95-93, but the rebound bounced off Unseld and Jack Sikma and Hayes to Johnny Johnson.
Seattle got another 24 seconds and held the ball until Phil Chenier fouled Gus Williams, who made two free throws with 12 seconds left for the game's final points.
Greg Ballard said that normally he would have been under the basket and would not have let this man - Johnny Johnson - get that offensive rebound.
"But DJ had an open shot and he and Gus were scoring all of their points," Ballard said. "I had to fly out at him and that left me out of position to get the rebound. I saw the ball go over E's hands into DJ's."
Grevey, who spent the second half in his street clothes on the bench said, "After we won the first game I started making plans to celbrate for the summer, but I guess it wasn't to be. Last year we had a fairy-tale season. This year was like a roller coaster. We had so many peaks and valleys and no consistency. It seems each time we would get up we'd be struck down by an injury or something.
"After beating them (the Sonics) last year, I guess they had revenge in their eyes. Maybe they wanted to win more than we did. It was really frustrating sitting there watching. I was ready to play."
Grevey was injured in the first quarter when he scored on a layup and was fouled by Skima.
"I felt it (the hamstring) pop and go when I went up. I knew that was it," he said. "That's the way it goes."
Henderson said he stepped on Dennis Johnson's foot under the basket and twisted his ankle in the first minute of the second half. He did not even take a shot in the game, but had six assists.
"I decided to sit out the third quarter to see how it felt. I told Dick I didn't think I could make it," Henderson said.
Without Henderson or Grevey available, Phil Chenier had to play 20 minutes and he made only one of seven shots and had all sorts of problems handling the ball.
Motta delayed the move of Dandridge to guard as long as he could, but had to do it in the fourth quarter.
"Even when I was at guard we were still trying to get the ball down low to E, but they were doubling him and he just couldn't get any shots," Dandridge said. "I know I was very tired. I guess we all were.
"I believe in fate and I guess this was just Seattle's year to win. We had our day last year."