The Washington Bullets, quickly becoming a team of the past, got blown out for the second straight time tonight, barely staying competitive for more than one quarter.
The Milwaukee Bucks did the trick tonight, even with their best player, Marques Johnson on the bench in his street clothes.
The Bullets looked as if they were merely going through the motions as the Bucks humbled them, 115-90, before a capacity crowd of 10,938 at Milwaukee Arena.
"At least we didn't get beat as bad as we did last night," said Coach Dick Motta, referring to Thursday's 30-point loss to the Indiana Pacers. "Right now we're a hurt, tired team."
It showed, too.
Bob Dandridge still is home with a pulled calf muscle, Greg Ballard played with a sprained and heavily taped left thumb and a sore right foot, Jim Cleamons is still fighting a virus and Mitch Kupchak is hurting.
Newcomer John Williamson pulled a groin muscle in the Indiana game and could play only seven minutes tonight.
To top that off, Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes are dog tired. It is when they come out of the game for even brief rests that the opposition runs away and hides.
Kevin Grevey had his second good scoring game, with 23 points. Ballard, despite his maladies, had 20 points and led the Bullets with nine rebounds.
The Bullets shot only 36 percent, however, and simply didn't have the firepower or seemingly the desire to stay with the quicker Bucks.
Junior Bridgeman came off the Milwaukee bench and scored 23 points. Bob Lanier, playing in his second game since joining Milwaukee from Detroit, had 18 points.
Sidney Moncrief, the Bucks' talented 6-foot-4 rookie guard, had eight points, six assists and 10 rebounds, more than any Bullet. The Milwaukee bench outscored the Bullet reserves 62-13.
With Johnson sidelined with a bruised hip, the Bucks, surprisingly, started 6-9 rookie Pat Cummings in his place and put him on Hayes. That left Dave Meyers to play small forward.
Cummings responded with six points in the first two minutes. The Bucks were off and running and the Bullets were headed for their third straight defeat and 10th in their last 13 games. Their season record is 23-31.
The Bucks moved to a 10-point lead at 17-7, but the Bullets fought back and trailed by only one, 25-24, by the end of the quarter.
The Bullet swoon came in the second quarter. The Bucks made their first seven shots while the Bullets were missing four straight times and turning the ball over four times, as well. w
Bridgeman had six points in that spurt and Richard Washington, another of the talented Milwaukee reserves, had four, as the Bucks outscored the Bullets, 14-1. The only Bullet point came on a free throw by Grevey after a technical foul was called against Milwaukee Coach Don Nelson.
The Bullets were never in the game after that. They trailed 58-42 at halftime and 89-67 after three periods.
The Bucks opened the final quarter with back-to-back baskets by Lanier and Washington to take a 93-67 lead. The Bullets did respond with nine straight points to cut the lead to 18.
The visitors got no closer than that, though, as the Bucks started pressing and their quickness and depth took its toll on the beleagured Bullets.
The Bullets were also outrebounded by a 62-48 margin.
They have the day off Saturday before facing the Kings in Kansas City Sunday. Motta had wanted to practice. But with everyone injured or pooped out, he doesn't know if he can.
"What am I going to do if someone else gets hurt?" he said.
There still is a chance Dandridge could rejoin the team by Sunday and that would help. But Motta said he isn't counting on that.
"We're just going to show up and do the best we can with what we've got," he said.