Adrian Dantley scored a career-high 42 points last night, but the Washington Bullets used a more balanced attack and went on to register a 111-103 victory over the Utah Jazz.
Dantley, working mostly against Elvin Hayes, made 17 of 27 shots and had a Capital Centre crowd of 11,107 oohing and aahing much of the night.
Hayes scored 24 points and sharp shooting Roger Phegley 21 to lead six Bullets in double figures.
The victory was the Bullets fourth straight and improved their recored to 8-7, marking the first time this season they have been above .500.
"We're really playing well now," said Bullet Coach Dick Motta. "We're starting to put everything together."
Dantley was the crowd-pleaser, though, as the 6-foot-5 former De Matha High School and Notre Dame star worked the 6-9 Hayes over inside and when the Bullets started doubleteaming him, moved outside and started hitting his jump shot.
"In the past E (Hayes) has done well against him," Motta said, "but tonight . . ."
The Bullets at one time had a 19-point lead, but saw it evaporate and the score was tied, 88-88, after two straight turnovers resulted in Don Williams fast-break baskets with 8:19 left.
The Bullets called a timeout and when they returned to the floor, they scored six straight points on a tip-in by Wes Unseld, an 18-foot jump shot by Phil Chenier and a turnaround jumper by Hayes.
The Jazz never recovered and lost for the 16 time in 18 games this season.
"That team hustles; they play hard and within their limits," Motta said.
"They don't have any illusions. They just get the ball to Dantley."
Dantley went into the game as the league's fourth leading scorer with a 27.8 average. He also was shotting 60 percent from the field.
He said he prefers to have small forwards guard him, "but there are things I can do on E that I can't on Dandridge or (Greg) Ballard."
Dantley's previous high, was 40 points, scored earlier this season.
He also had nine rebounds and three assists last night.
Starting guard Chenier missed his first five shots, so Motta called on Phegley with 42 minutes left in the first quarter and the Bullets on top, 18-16.
Phegley, who scored 20 points in Friday's one-point victory over the New Jersey Nets, missed his first shot, then made his next eight in a row, including a three-point field goal. He had 17 first-half points.
That helped propel the Bullets to a 58-44 halftime lead.
The Bullets were down, 24-22, late in the first period, but put together a 10-2 spurt to take command at 32-26. Phegley had the last eight points in that stretch on four 20-foot jumpers, all of which swished.
Phegley made 10 of 13 shots for the game and only one of them was from closer than 18 feet.
"When I was shooting well, they (my teammates) kept coming back to me." Phegley said, "That's the way it should be with whoever is hot.
"I just seem to be able to come in and get loose right away. I try not to come in and force shots, though," Phegley added. "In our offense I can get my shots without forcing them. All I have to do is use the screens and I'm learning more how to do that."
Dandridge, who returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game with a sore neck, was not at his best last night. He played 30 minutes, but made only three of eight shots from the field and scored 11 points, his low since the first game of the season when he scored only eight points.
Kevin Porter ran the offense well again last night, scoring 16 points, handing out nine assists and turning the ball over only twice.
Another former Washington high school star, Don Williams of Mackin, is a starting Jazz guard. He scored 13 points last night, three more than Pete Maravich.