Golden State broke from a one-point lead with nine straight points in the final 2 1/2 minutes tonight in defeating the Washington Bullets, 110-102, giving them their second straight loss and ending their six-game road trip with three wins and three losses.
World Free led the Warriors with 26 points and Bernard King and Joe Barry Carroll had 19 each. King had five of the points in the 9-0 run that ensured the victory.
Rick Mahorn led the Bullets with 24 points, 22 in the second half, and Greg Ballard had 22.
As he had anticipated, former Warrior John Lucas was booed when introduced to the Oakland Coliseum crowd. The razzing continued every time Lucas touched the ball. The only things that quieted the fans, at least momentarily, were two assists and a free throw by the Bullets' point guard that helped the Bullets to an early 11-6 lead.
The Bullets went on to take a 23-14 lead with 3:46 left in the first period, but then went cold, turning over the ball on five of their remaining nine possessions in the quarter.
A 9-0 run by the Warriors tied the score at 23 in two minutes. Mike Gale started it with a 15-foot jump shot, and after a jumper by Free, Gale scored off an offensive rebound. A turnover by the Bullets, a goaltending call on Spencer Haywood and a foul on Mahorn resulting in a three-point play by Carroll tied the score.
A dunk by Carroll with one second left in the quarter tied the score again, at 27.
Ballard, Haywood and Don Collins had eight points apiece in the first period. Carroll had 11.
The Bullets settled down at the start of the second quarter, outscoring the Warriors, 12-8, to go ahead, 39-31, but the Warriors methodically cut into the lead. Free scored his team's last seven points of the half, all from the foul line, and the score was tied at 45 at halftime.
The Bullets shot only 36 percent in the second quarter and scored but six points in the final seven minutes of the period, on field goals by Frank Johnson and Ballard and two free throws by Charles Davis. The Bullets missed their last seven shots in the half.
Bullet guard Kevin Grevey, who hadn't played in the last 10 days after injuring tendons and ligaments in his right (nonshooting) hand in a game at Dallas, entered the game late in the first half, but didn't take a shot.
Free had 11 points in the first half, making seven of 11 free throws.
The lead changed four times in the third period before Free scored on back-to-back baskets to put the Warriors ahead, 55-51. A tap-in and two free throws by Larry Smith gave Golden State a 61-55 lead with seven minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Warriors led by as many as eight before the Bullets started closing the gap. A 15-6 Bullet rally cut the lead to 77-76 with 1:28 left in the quarter. Mahorn, who scored 15 points in the quarter, had seven in that run and Ballard four.
Haywood made two free throws with 1:17 left to give the Bullets a 78-77 lead and then, after an 18-footer by Lorenzo Romar, Mahorn scored on an offensive rebound and the Bullets held an 80-79 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The score was tied at 85 when Purvis Short scored on a three-point play against Ballard. After Johnson missed a jumper, Short scored again on a jumper from the corner to give the Warriors a 90-85 lead with 8:19 remaining.