The New Jersey Nets, despite scoring only 11 points in the final quarter, hung on to defeat the Washington Bullets, 91-87, tonight in an exhibition game.
After closing to within one point, 88-87, with 1:57 remaining, the Bullets lost three consecutive times.
"I have to say our execution isn't there at all," said Bullet Coach Gene Shue. "Two out of the three times we turned it over, we were trying to get the ball to our best one-on-one player (Don Collins). But the Nets just played good defense."
While the Nets were tough defensively, the Bullets committed 25 turnovers. In addition, Washington's running game was sputtering.
"We haven't found anybody to replace Kevin Porter," said Shue, whose teams have been known for their running style. "We're hoping Frank Johnston will come around. But he's only been in camp a week and everything's still new to him."
The Bullets, who jumped to a 20-12 lead, soon found themselves trailing after a rash of turnovers midway through the second quarter. With Jan Van Breda Kolff scoring 10 of his 12 points and the Nets getting 12 points off Bullet turnovers, New Jersey led, 54-49, at the half.
The Nets led throughout the second half with the Bullets coming no closer than the 88-87 score. The Bullets (1-2 in preseason play) got a solid performance from Greg Ballard, who led Washington with 15 points. Rick Mahorn had 14 points and 12 rebounds.