Kevin Grevey and Greg Ballard each made two free throws in the final 12 seconds of overtime tonight and the Bullets beat the Kansas City Kings, 109-106, for their sixth straight victory.
The Bullets, one of the hottest teams in the National Basketball Association, have won 17 of their last 25 games and four in a row on the road. This was also the first time they have won in Kansas City since Jan. 6, 1977.
The victory was somewhat tarnished because starting guard Frank Johnson resprained an already sore left ankle in the first period and didn't play after that. How long he will be out is uncertain.
Neither team could score in the final 1:25 of regulation, forcing the extra period.
Grevey, who led the Bullets with 25 points, including 11 of 12 free throws, got his team off quickly in the overtime by taking Rick Mahorn's tap and driving by Reggie King to score on a hook shot as he was fouled. His successful free throw, followed by a Jeff Ruland basket the next time down the floor, gave the Bullets a 99-94 lead a minute into the overtime.
The Kings inched their way back, though, and tied the score at 103 on a three-point play by Cliff Robinson.
Ruland scored on a layup to get the Bullets a 105-103 lead and then lured Mike Woodson to charge into him for a Kansas City turnover with 40 seconds left.
Ballard, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, missed a jumper and fouled Robinson going for the rebound with 25 seconds remaining, but Robinson made only the second of his two shots and the Bullets still led, 105-104.
The Kings were forced to foul to try to regain the ball and, after Eddie Johnson fouled Ballard, Ballard made both shots for a 107-104 lead with 12 seconds remaining.
Kansas City tried a three point shot, but Phil Ford's desperation heave from beyond the top of the key was short and Ford then fouled Grevey with four seconds to play.
Grevey made both shots and the Bullets let Ford drive the length of the floor uncontested for the game's final two points.
Ruland scored six of his 19 points in the overtime and had 13 rebounds in the game.
"This game was really a struggle because we played last night (Friday) and traveled today and Kansas City was really playing well," said Bullet Coach Gene Shue.
"This was just a gutty win," said Grevey, who also had six rebounds and three assists.
John Lucas played 43 minutes in relief of Johnson and had his best game since losing his starting job to the rookie three weeks ago. Lucas scored 11 points and had 10 assists and six rebounds and did a good defensive job against Ford.
Kansas City made 42 field goals to 38 for the Bullets, but Washington converted 33 of 39 foul shots. Seven of their 15 overtime points were from the line and they scored 13 of their 23 fourth-quarter points from there, including nine of their last 11.
Grevey was 9-9 from the foul line in the second half.
"I felt quicker than (Mike) Woodson, so I was driving to the hole, trying to create something," said Grevey. "My jumper didn't feel that good, so I had to drive."
Both teams had golden opportunities to win the game in regulation, but blew them.
Ruland missed a 12-footer with five seconds left and Ford missed a 17-footer from the baseline with two seconds remaining.
Kansas City, which has now lost four in a row, led by as many as 10 points in the second period, but the Bullets wiped that out with an 11-2 spurt and neither team led by more than six points after that.
Robinson was Kansas City's big gun with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
The victory put the Bullets two games above .500 at 21-19. Their next three games are at home against Chicago, New York and Cleveland.