For details of today's 137-107 loss to the Bucks, the Bullets' fourth of the season to Milwaukee, see last Monday's paper. Read where the Bucks led Washington by 16 at the half and went on to win, 102-93.
Today the Bucks led by 16 at the hald and went on to score their season high.
For further details, see Saturday's paper. Read where the Bullets were down by 18 halfway through Friday night's loss to the Chicago Bulls and were unable to come all the way back. Note that Elvin Hayes got his third foul four minutes into that game and sat out the rest of the half.
Today, Hayes, who had 15 points, got his third foul with 10:48 remaining in the half. The Bucks led, 36-27. He did not return until the start of the third quarter. By then the Bullets trailed by 16.
Addenda: Kevin Porter sprained his right ankle, not severely, less than two minutes into the game. He went to the bench with 5:39 remaining in the quarter, and the Bullets trailing by one, 17-16. Porter spent the rest of the game icing his ankle. The Bucks spent the rest of the game icing the Bullets.
Bobby Dandridge, who had not played since Nov. 1, played 16 minutes and scored six points. His entrance into the game at 8:58 in the second quarter was greeted by a sardonic call from one of his former hometown fans: "Why don't you call a 20-second injury timeout?"
As Hayes said, "It was one of those games."
The Bullets now trail the Bulls by 2 1/2 games in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern conference.
"We got blown out in the first half and we got blown out in the second half," said Mitch Kupchak, who scored 15 points. "Just because K.P. is hurt and Elvin is in foul trouble doesn't give us an excuse.We're playing catch-up and we know it. We can't afford to lose any more. Chicago beat New York in New York and that hurts us. I equate that with us beating Milwaukee in Milwaukee and we didn't do it."
The reason they didn't, said Coach Gene Shue, is defense. "Most of the year, steady defense kept us in games," Shue said. "Now, we're just breaking down. The last two games, the defense has been very, very poor. Milwaukee killed us off the boards."
The Bullets were outrebounded, 52-37, in the game, and 18-4 in the first quarter.
Shue lectured the team Saturday on the fine points of stopping the transition game, "something we did a good job on early in the year. Against teams that run, you've got to get back. At times, our forwards aren't getting back. It's not just the guards. It comes down to being able to stop the transition. We've had two very poor basketball games."
If the Bullets were poor, the Bucks had plenty: eight players in double figures, including leading scorer Marques Johnson (21). They also shot 58 percent from the field.
"They put on a clinic," said Kevin Grevey, who made one of 10 shots from the floor and had eight points. "They were superior to us in every way. They are just that damn good. They may be the best damn basketball team in the world."
When Porter sprained his ankle with 11:19 remaining in the first quarter, it became clear that it wasn't going to be the Bullets' day. "(Quinn) Buckner stepped on it from behind on the first foul of the game," said Porter as he sat on the training table removing the tape from his ankle. "It's one of those things. If I have a day off, it will be all right. It feels hyperextended right now."
Trainer John Lally said that he expected Porter to be able to play Tuesday against the Jazz in Utah. "It's a slight sprain, nothing serious," said Lally.
Dandridge, who had missed 56 games, said "I felt good mentally. Physically, it was difficult. As far as being on the court, it was natural. But condition was a big factor. It's something I have to work hard at."
Shue said, "Just getting him in running up and down was encouraging. He handled the ball well enough. He did a pretty good job, just coming back."
Then Shue paused, looking at a reporter: "A few more games like this, I'll even use you."