John Williamson missed a running eight-footer with one second to play tonight as the Atlanta Hawks held on to defeat the Washington Bullets, 100-98, at Robins Center in the Bullets' exhibition season opener.
The Bulletts trailed by 10 points with 5:01 left, but made a strong run at the Hawks.Forward Bob Dandridge led the charge with two baskets and a couple of steals.
Danridge's layup with 22 seconds left cut the Atlanta lead to 99-98. The Bullets then intentionally fouled Sam Pellom with six seconds left. He made only one of two free throws for a two-point lead.
The Bullets called time, then got a decent shot, but Williamson's attempt rolled over the rim and off.
Gene Shue, making his debut as Bullet coach, was not pleased and did not have much praise for any of his players, although rookie Wes Matthews, who has been in camp only since Friday, looked impressive at times.
Matthews led the Bullets with 17 points and five assists.
"I thought Matthews did a fair job," Shue said, "but he made so many cheap fouls."
Matthews committed five fouls, and most of them were called while he was reaching in trying for a steal.
The Hawks were the usual pressing ball hawkers, even though half the team didn't dress for the game. John Drew had a virus, Tree Rollins and Tom McMillen are recovering from knee injuries. Tom Burleson is recovering from a broken wrist, guard Armond Hill has a sore back and No. 1 draft choice Don Collins from Washington State still is unsigned.
To compound matters for the Hawks, Coach Hubie Brown was ejected in the first period after being charged with two technical fouls by official Jess Kersey.
"We didn't play with the type of aggressiveness I'm looking for for most of the game," Shue said. "I can excuse temperamental mistakes by the rockies, but not by the veterans. I didn't like the way we played. Atlanta was running a simple guard off a screen and we couldn't defense it. We missed a lot of open shots, too. We still lack defense in the backcourt and it showed tonight."
Francois Wise was the only Bullet in uniform who did not play. Dave Corzine didn't suit up because of a cut foot and free agent Reggie Holmes was held out because of a sprained ankle.
The only Bullet casualty was guard Kevin Grevey, who sustained a painful thigh bruise. Nevertheless, he scored 11 points in 15 minutes.
Dan Roundfield scored seven of Atlanta's first nine points and led the Hawks with 15. He also had a game high 11 rebounds.
Mitch Kupchak led the Bullet rebounders with nine, in addition to scoring 11 points.
The Bullets with play the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night in Huntington, W.Va.
The Bullets led, 79-78, early in the fourth quarter after a 15-footer by Williamson, but the Hawks scored 11 straight points, four by 5-foot-8 guard Charlie Criss. That put Atlanta on top, 89-79, with 7:46 to play. Then Dandridge, Matthews and Hayes sparked the Bullet comeback.
For the game, the Bullets shot a dismal 38 percent.
Bullet free agent rookie Carlos Terry, in nine minutes, turned in 10 points, three offensive rebounds, an assist and a steal. He also seemed to always be in the right place on both offense and defense.
Former Georgetown star Craig Shelton started for Drew at small forward but didn't play well. In 21 minutes, he made only one of four shots and fouled out.
Shue stuck pretty much to his game plan. He used his starters for the first seven minutes, then started substituting freely.