Bob Dandridge, held to seven points in regulation play, scored five points in overtime tonight to lead the Washington Bullets to a tough, 115-113 victory over the Chicago Bulls.
It was a Dandridge 20-footer with 32 seconds left that provided the winning points but the outcome wasn't officially decided until nearly five minutes after the game had ended.
Coby Deitrick scored on a 10-footer with 25 seconds left to get the Bulls back to within two points after Dandridge's basket. The Bullets played keepaway on their last possession until the 24 second clock ran out with one second to play.
The Bulls inbounded the ball to Reggie Theus, who heaved it toward the basket from midcourt. It was short but Dwight Jones grabbed it and laid it in. The final horn never sounded, though, and the Bulls and the 9,217 at Chicago Stadium though a second overtime was coming.
The Bullets headed for the dressing room, only to be called back while officials Jack Madden and Tommy Nunez met at the scorer's table to figure out what had happened.
After a lengthy discussion, they ruled that Davis' basket came after time had run out.
"I told Jack (Madden) that it was phsically impossible for all that to happen in one second," Motta said. "I wasn't worried about the decision at all."
The win gave the Bullets two victories on this just-completed road trip in which they played three nights in a row.
They beat Cleveland by two points in overtime Thursday and lost to the Indiana Pacers by two points Friday.
The Bullets played well most of the game tonight, but a horrendous third quarter almost did them in.
They led, 63-52, at the half, but missed 14 of 19 shots in the third quarter, were outrebounded, 19-4, and went into the fourth quarter trailing, 86-79.
Elvin Hayes came to life in the fourth period, however, and almost single-handedly brought the Bullets back.
The Bullets were down 92-85 when Hayes scored their next 11 points to only two for Chicago. When the Bullets forward was through with his display, the Bullets had a 96-94 lead with 4:41 left. The score was tied twice after that, but the Bullets never trailed again.
Hayes, who made three straight turnaround jumpers over Jones and five free throws in a row in that fourth-quarter stretch, finished with 21 points, a total matched by teammate Greg Ballard, who had 17 of his points in the first half. Hayes also had 15 rebounds.
Wes Unseld had 16 points and 16 rebounds.
David Greenwood led Chicago with 24 points. Thens added 22, Jones 21.
The Bullets had a seemingly comfortable lead at 100-94 after a Larry Wright layup after he got an offensive rebound in regulation, but a Ricky Sobers layup after he got an offensive rebound 30 seconds later and a three-point play, got the Bulls, who had won three in a row, to within a point, at 100-99.
Dandridge made one of three free throws after he was fouled by Greenwood with 40 seconds remaining.
Sobers, who finished with 19 points, scored the baset that sent the game the tap-in. Jones getting the rebound for Chicago. The only shot the Bulls could get through, was a forced 25-footer by Theus, which was short, and the game went into overtime.
The Bullets started the extra period with a Grevey basket and a Dandridge three-point play.
Chicago later tied the score at 111-111 on consective baskets by Greenwood and Theus with 1:28 to play, but Jim Cleamons drilled an 18-footer just before Dandridge connected with the eventual winning points.
The victory boosted the Bullets to 13-15. The Bulls, who have been decimated by injuries this season, fell to 10-21.
"I was really satisified with our intensity on defense tonight," Motta said. "If we keep that up, everything else will fall into place."