George Gervin did to the Washington Bullets tonight what he does so well to most other NBA teams.
The league's leading scorer stung the Bullets for 24 second-half points and finished with 42 to give the San Antonio Spurs a 130-117 triumph before 11,309 fans in the Convention Center Arena.
The loss was Washington's fourth consecutive and third in a row away from Capital Centre. The Spurs collected their seventh win on their last eight games at home.
"They outlasted us down the stretch," said Bullet Coach Dick Motta. "It was our third game in three nights and we ran out of gas. We are not playing the way the Bullets can play."
San Antonio broke back from a five-point deficit at halftime to grab its first lead of the final half, 65-64, with 8:07 remaining in the third quarter. The Spurs never lost the lead from that point.
"We ran good tonight," delcared Spur Coach Doug Moe, whose club has been struggling lately, as have the Bullets, especially on the road.
"We got up the floor, everyone ran hard and a lot of guys contributed."
Gervin was supported by James Silas who had 26 points.
"It's really great to think we hung in there and held them," said Silas. "I never count these guys out because they can come back on you like a storm." "
Washington didn't come back like a storm in the second half tonight, however. The Spurs led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter and 16 in the final 12 minutes.
Elvin Hayes sparked the Bullets with 31 points but didn't score in the final period after replacing Greg Ballard with 7:50 remaining.
"In the first half we got the ball inside," said Hayes. "That is what won us the championship. In the second half we played the Spurs' game from the outside.
"They started running and it was hard to stop a team like that when they are hot."
The Spurs also got 11 points from newcomer John Shumate who came from Houston in the trade for Billy Paultz.
The bullets' next game is Tuesday in Cleveland.
The Bullets had held a 62-57 lead at intermission.
The Bullets lead 62-57, at halftime behind the 26-point performance of Hayes.
He worked his magic against four Spur defenders. San Antonio opened the game with rookie Sylvester Norris guarding Hayes, then shifted to Paul Griffin, then Mark Olberding and, finally, another rookie, Wiley Peck.
Hayes worked the Spurs for 10 points in the first quarter and 16 in the second.
Washington never trailed in the first period and led by as many as five points in that quarter. Norris had so much trouble with Hayes that the Spur center-turned-forward-saturday departed with three fouls with 4:45 remaining in the opening 12 minutes. Griffin had three by the half.