The Washington Bullets, led by Gus Williams' 19 points, defeated the Chicago Bulls, 113-91, tonight before 6,130 at the Hampton Coliseum for their second straight victory and fifth of six this NBA preseason.
After leading by 47-44 at halftime, the Bullets broke the game open in the third period, in which Williams scored 15 points. Orlando Woolridge led Chicago with 20 points in the game.
Despite his team's exhibition success, Bullets Coach Gene Shue said he did not assume that it necessarily would carry over into the regular season.
"I think it's significant that the starters played so well in the third quarter, but when the 25th comes (opening night against the Atlanta Hawks), everyone will be 0-0. That's the bottom line," he said. "Our record is nice. It may build some confidence. I like some of the things that we're doing."
One of them is defense. Tonight, the Bullets limited Chicago to 35 percent shooting as the Bulls missed their first 14 field goal attempts.
That, however, isn't uncommon in Chicago's case. The Bulls are 0-7 in the preseason, and, according to second-year sensation Michael Jordan (11 points, three of 12 from the field), time is running out.
"You can't keep putting things off, saying that it's just the preseason," he said. "We're still making the same mistakes that we made in the first game. It weighs on my mind, but you can't say anything. You just have to keep working."
Although the season is still in its preliminary stage, it is becoming more and more obvious that the Bullets have more depth than many of the teams they will face.
In tonight's game, Guy Williams and Tom Sewell, both facing a struggle to make the team, sparkled during their time on the floor.
In fact, in most games so far, the second-string players have tended to extend the small leads gained by the starters. Tonight, though, the first five took things into their own hands.
Washington outscored Chicago, 12-5, in the first 2:30 of the third period, with one of the baskets by Gus Williams. The guard then took over the game, hitting six of the Bullets' next eight points to lead them on a 21-11 run.
Although the points were a plus, Shue said he was even happier about the overall effort.
"Sometimes you're not going to shoot well, but if you're playing hard all the time, it doesn't matter as much," he said. "That's what we've got going so far -- everybody's working very hard."