The Washington Bullets will make a brief stop at Capital Centre tonight at 8 to pick up some clean clothes and to face the Golden State Warriors.
What the Bullets wish they could pick up, before they take off once more, for games in San Antonio (Saturday) and Houston (Tuesday), are a healthy Frank Johnson and Don Collins.
The Detroit Pistons got help from convalescing Kelly Tripucka and Kent Benson Wednesday night and beat the Bullets in Pontiac, 116-100. With Tripucka scoring 25 points and relaying his emotion to previously sluggish teammates, the Pistons looked like a playoff club.
Without Johnson and Collins, the Bullets resembled a team playing out an awfully long string.
However, there were a few rays of light in the improved play of Spencer Haywood and Kevin Grevey.
Haywood made his first start after returning from an eye injury a week ago and had 20 points and 12 rebounds.
"Spencer is trying to get his game back and that was the first time he's made a contribution in a month and a half," said Coach Gene Shue. "He has put in a lot of extra work in practice and he will help us."
"Gene and I have been working very hard together," Haywood said. "I come early to practice and Gene has been pushing me, making me work harder. I'm certainly enjoying it better now.
"I seem to keep getting one injury after another and I'm trying hard to keep my spirits up. This was my second night back and the first night I started and I felt a lot better.
"I wish we could get a little streak going. We've had our problems with injuries, but we have some capable players and we ought to be able to win our share."
Grevey, who had made only 14 of 46 shots while totaling 33 points in the previous four games, showed some signs of his once-formidable form against the Pistons, scoring 24 points on 10-for-21 shooting.
"Kevin had a very good shooting night and we were able to run some plays that got him open," Shue said.
"He was one of our bright spots. The way we're struggling, there weren't many."
"Personally, I've been playing pretty awful," Grevey said. "The team is shorthanded, but that's no excuse for playing as poor offensively as we have.
"This is one of the low spots of our season and we'll just have to dig it out. We're still at .500, it's early in the year and we've been working different combinations. We can turn it around."
Grevey has had his share of injuries, but he said his recent shooting problems were not related to any physical shortcomings.
"It's a confidence thing," Grevey said. "I get down on myself and, after the game in Cleveland (two of 11 for six points) my confidence was at an all-time low.
"This game helped a little, but I'm still not shooting the way I ought to be. It'll take time, but I hope not much more time."
The Warriors come into Capital Centre after losing the first two games of a four-game road trip, including a 139-117 defeat in Boston Wednesday night.
The Warriors also have injury problems. Michael Ray Richardson, who is averaging 12 points a game and is the No. 2 man in steals in the NBA with three a game, is hobbling with a sprained ankle and may see limited action. He missed the first two games of the trip.
Center Joe Barry Carroll, who scored a season- high 37 points in Boston, also has a slight hamstring pull but is expected to play. He is averaging 21.7 points, second to teammate Purvis Short, with a 21.9 average.