PORTLAND, ORE., NOV. 19 -- Washington Bullets Coach Kevin Loughery said tonight he is contemplating starting either Frank Johnson or Darrell Walker at point guard ahead of struggling rookie Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"The start of games has given us some trouble, we're not rebounding the ball and we're not shooting the ball well, either," Loughery said. "{Opponents have} been giving Muggsy the open jumper, but he hasn't been putting them down. We're really looking at that and everything. I'm just not exactly sure we'll do anything yet."

He said he will make a final decision on Friday after reviewing films of the Bullets' latest losses, Tuesday and Wednesday to the Chicago Bulls. He said that if he does make a switch in the starting lineup, Bogues still would get playing time as a substitute.

In the Bullets' 84-82 loss to Chicago at Capital Centre Wednesday night, Bogues took only two shots, both open jumpers, and missed both. Also none for two at the foul line, he had no points and six assists in 20 minutes on the court. He is shooting 41 percent from the field and averaging 5.7 points a game.

Both teams are 2-5 and clearly struggling. Portland, expected at least to contend for second place in the Pacific Division, has lost five straight.

Optimists might point out that the combined record of Atlanta, Boston, Milwaukee and Chicago -- the teams that have defeated Washington -- is 23-6. Pessimists, however, would fret that things could get worse before they get better, because the Bullets will be touring the West on a four-game trip. After the Trail Blazers game come the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday, the Utah Jazz on Tuesday and the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. The combined record of those four teams is 11-18, but it could improve quickly if the Bullets don't take care of some of their own deficiencies.

To begin with, shooting. Bogues is not the only Bullet in a slump. Washington has made only 43 percent of its field goal attempts this season. Only three other NBA teams miss the basket as often as the Bullets -- the Clippers, the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets, and the Bullets' wins came against the Knicks and Nets. Only twice have the Bullets converted 50 percent from the floor. Ironically, they lost both times, to the Bulls on Tuesday and to Boston in double overtime, 140-139, on Nov. 7.

On Wednesday, the Bullets went 36 percent from the field but that might not have mattered had they not missed some key foul shots. The Bullets set an NBA record their previous home game by making 60 free throws against the Knicks, but Wednesday against Chicago, center Moses Malone -- who shot one for eight from the field -- missed three free throws in the final three minutes and Manute Bol missed another.

Rebounding has been the Bullets' second major shortcoming. They have been outrebounded, 344-296, yielding the opposition 123 offensive recoveries. The Bullets get only 60 percent of the rebounds of opponents' shots -- the second worst percentage in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors lead the league, snapping up 72 percent of available defensive rebounds.

Loughery said this week that there "really aren't any rebounders available out there," and that the improvement he's expecting "will come from within." He and a number of his players have cited unfamiliarity with each other's habits as a contributing factor to the problems on the backboards.

Portland, meanwhile, with Kenny Carr forced into retirement by chronic back trouble, has one player who could be called a defensive force in the middle: 6-foot-7 forward Jerome Kersey. The Trail Blazers have excellent scorers in forward Kiki Vandeweghe and guard Clyde Drexler, but neither is likely to be praised for defensive wizardry.

Nets 108, Knicks 107:

New Jersey's Orlando Woolridge blocked a shot with 35 seconds remaining, sank two free throws 13 seconds later and stole an inbound New York pass at :01 to seal the victory in East Rutherford.

The Knicks, who Wednesday night squandered a 28-point third-quarter lead during a double-overtime loss to Boston, blew a nine-point fourth-quarter lead this time.

Rockets 105, Cavaliers 97:

In Richfield, Ohio, Houston's final 15 points came on free throws, Ralph Sampson starting the string with a pair that broke a 90-90 tie with 2:58 to go.After Sampson's foul shots provided the lead, Akeem Olajuwon (27 points) made two, World B. Free two and Olajuwon two more for a 98-91 advantage.

Bucks 117, Kings 113:

Milwaukee, helped by five of Terry Cummings' 34 points, won in overtime at Sacramento, the 10th straight time it has beaten the Kings. Paul Pressey had 23 and Jack Sikma 20 for the Bucks.

Otis Thorpe paced Sacramento with 33 points, rookie Kenny Smith scored a pro-high 23 and backup center Jawann Oldham took a career-high 15 rebounds. The Kings tied at 100 with :01 left in regulation when Derek Smith tipped in a rebound after Kenny Smith missed the second of two free throws.