The Washington Bullets made former Coach Dick Motta's return to Capital Centre an unpleasant one last night as they thumped his expansion Dallas Mavericks, 116-95.
The Bullets did little wrong as they continually got easy baskets. They scored 48 of their points as the result of fast breaks and shot a record 64 percent for the game, the best shooting game they have had since they moved to Washington. They shot 74 percent in the second half.
The victory was the team's second straight, marking the first time this season they have managed back-to-back victories.
Elvin Hayes said he finally is in his groove and his performance -- 26 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots -- backed up his contention.
Wes Matthews was perfect in the fourth quarter, shooting eight for eight, and finished with 24 points and six assists.
Even the newest Bullet, Austin Carr, who was acquired from Dallas earlier in the day, played well. He scored seven points and had two assists in 13 minutes.
"The pace here is a lot faster than I thought it was," Carr said.
At least it was last night. The Bullets outrebounded the Mavericks, 45-29, and that board strength allowed them to execute their fast break almost at will. Wes Unseld had 10 rebounds and Carlos Terry eight. Along with Hayes, they were effective with their outlet passes and the Mavericks were unable to keep up.
Terry, the rookie swingman, also had two points and six assists in only 15 minutes.
Dallas stayed close until 5:36 remained in the third quarter, when the Bullets caught fire and outscored the Mavericks, 23-6, to take a 88-67 lead into the final period.
Kevin Grevey had ninepoints in that spurt and finished with 19. He also made a three-point shot, marking the seventh straight game in which he has had at least one three-pointer.
Coach Gene Shue, who has had little to glow about until the last two games, was all smiles last night.
"That's the way we want to play," he said. "The big thing is to win, but we were exciting, too, and I think that's important.
"When you get good outside shooting with good inside play, you're going to be a good team."
"It's fun to play that style of game," Grevey said."We had some sort of advantage on almost every play. They can say we're old and slow, but we have some fast and quick guys, too."
Even Unseld, who made eight of nine shots, displayed some surprising speed on one play that brought the crowd of 6,285 to its feet cheering.
Unseld intercepted a Tom LaGarde pass intended for Scott Lloyd and raced three-quarters of the length of the floor for a breakaway layup. The 250-pound Unseld pulled away from Lloyd, who tried in vain to catch him, to score his first points of the night.
"It's nice when things work out like they did tonight," Unseld said, "but they just don't work out like that all the time."
Terry Duerod led the Mavericks, who lost their seventh game in a row, with 22 points and Bill Robinzine had 18.
Motta, who was greeted with a mixture of boos and cheers from the Capital Centre crowd, wasn't very talkative afterward.
"I just wanted to play the game and get out of here," Motta said.
The Bullets said there wasn't any special incentive playing against Motta.
"I figured some people would make something out of it, but it meant nothing whatsoever to play his team," Unseld said.
The Bullets had the Mavericks so intimidated that Dallas seldom got close enough to the basket to shoot a layup and the Mavericks didn't even shoot a foul shot until the third quarter.
The Bullets, interestingly, shot slightly better from the field then they did from the foul line, 64 percent to 63 percent.
They will go for their third straight victory tonight when they host the Detroit Pistons, all of whom were in attendance at last night's game. Detroit has the dubious distinction of having the worst record in the league, 2-11.