Anyone nostalgic for the good old days would have been in his element at Saturday night's 100-97 Washington Bullets victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Capital Centre.

For those bored with "Thunder and Lightning," Washington's game could be seen as a return to the less than thrilling days of yesteryear. Without the rebounding and outlet passes of Rick Mahorn (sore left ankle), and Gus Williams (strained left thigh muscle) to receive and convert them, the Bullets scored a paltry 15 points via the fast break. For much of the game, their offense was reduced to a series of one-on-one isolation plays in the half-court offense, Coach Gene Shue trying to take advantage of any favorable matchup he could find.

Many of those isolations were run for forward Cliff Robinson. In the lineup for Mahorn, Robinson, a regular throughout his six years in the National Basketball Association, was starting for only the third time this season. "It felt a little strange out there at first, really the first time this season I've felt out of synch on the floor," he said.

Despite early foul trouble and a total of just two rebounds (seven under his average) for the game, Robinson led the team in scoring with 20 points, getting eight in the decisive fourth quarter. Said Milwaukee Coach Don Nelson, "I think that was the first time he's really hurt a team of mine since I've been coaching."

The Bullets (12-7), who had to sweat out the victory after the Bucks drew within a basket with 21 seconds to play and had a game tying three-point shot just miss at the buzzer, almost fell prey to a one-time teammate.

Charles Davis, waived by Washington after the first week of the season and subsequently picked up by Milwaukee, started the game in place of injured all-star guard Sidney Moncrief. He played like all-world, burning the Bullets for 25 points in a performance that left Shue cheering.

"Charles had a wonderful game," said Shue. "I'm very happy that he's done so well for them."

Nelson and the Bucks also are pleased with Davis, who has averaged more than 10 points a game since joining them. "Usually, any new player has trouble picking up our system, but he's come on very fast," said the coach. "Now that I see what he can do I find myself wanting more and more from him. He has a chance to be a very good player."

The Bullets felt that way, too, but Davis, a fourth-year forward from Vanderbilt, was caught in the numbers game. Now, it's the Bullets who could find themselves in a bind.

Mahorn, who has missed the last three games, is expected back in time for Thursday's game with the Indiana Pacers, but the situation with Williams isn't as clear. He has been ordered not to work out with his injury, and his status won't be known until Wednesday, when he's examined by team doctors.

Although it doesn't seem likely now, Shue is hopeful that Williams will be able to go against Indiana. "We might be able to get by a little easier without Rick in the lineup, but we can't expect to keep winning games without Gus," Shue said. After a Raft of Injuries, Robinson Does a Crusoe Forward Leads Bullets Over Bucks By Anthony Cotton Washington Post Staff Writer

Anyone nostalgic for the good old days would have been in his element at Saturday night's 100-97 Washington Bullets victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at Capital Centre.

For those bored with "Thunder and Lightning," Washington's game could be seen as a return to the less than thrilling days of yesteryear. Without the rebounding and outlet passes of Rick Mahorn (sore left ankle), and Gus Williams (strained left thigh muscle) to receive and convert them, the Bullets scored a paltry 15 points via the fast break. For much of the game, their offense was reduced to a series of one-on-one isolation plays in the half-court offense, Coach Gene Shue trying to take advantage of any favorable matchup he could find.

Many of those isolations were run for forward Cliff Robinson. In the lineup for Mahorn, Robinson, a regular throughout his six years in the National Basketball Association, was starting for only the third time this season. "It felt a little strange out there at first, really the first time this season I've felt out of synch on the floor," he said.

Despite early foul trouble and a total of just two rebounds (seven under his average) for the game, Robinson led the team in scoring with 20 points, getting eight in the decisive fourth quarter. Said Milwaukee Coach Don Nelson, "I think that was the first time he's really hurt a team of mine since I've been coaching."

The Bullets (12-7), who had to sweat out the victory after the Bucks drew within a basket with 21 seconds to play and had a game tying three-point shot just miss at the buzzer, almost fell prey to a one-time teammate.

Charles Davis, waived by Washington after the first week of the season and subsequently picked up by Milwaukee, started the game in place of injured all-star guard Sidney Moncrief. He played like all-world, burning the Bullets for 25 points in a performance that left Shue cheering.

"Charles had a wonderful game," said Shue. "I'm very happy that he's done so well for them."

Nelson and the Bucks also are pleased with Davis, who has averaged more than 10 points a game since joining them. "Usually, any new player has trouble picking up our system, but he's come on very fast," said the coach. "Now that I see what he can do I find myself wanting more and more from him. He has a chance to be a very good player."

The Bullets felt that way, too, but Davis, a fourth-year forward from Vanderbilt, was caught in the numbers game. Now, it's the Bullets who could find themselves in a bind.

Mahorn, who has missed the last three games, is expected back in time for Thursday's game with the Indiana Pacers, but the situation with Williams isn't as clear. He has been ordered not to work out with his injury, and his status won't be known until Wednesday, when he's examined by team doctors.

Although it doesn't seem likely now, Shue is hopeful that Williams will be able to go against Indiana. "We might be able to get by a little easier without Rick in the lineup, but we can't expect to keep winning games without Gus," Shue said.