The Washington Bullets fired their way out of their shooting slump tonight and, behind the continued excellent play of their second unit, ran past the Detroit Pistons, 124-102, in front of 13,028 at Capital Centre.

Forward John Williams tied his career high with 21 points. Darrell Walker had a season high in points with 20 (on eight of nine shooting) and added eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Bernard King added 20 points for the Bullets. Moses Malone had 19 and Jeff Malone 18. Isiah Thomas and Adrian Dantley led Detroit with 22 points each.

The second team played so well that Bullets Coach Kevin Loughery kept point guard Tyrone Bogues out almost the entire second half. He was limited to a total of 10 minutes. Loughery intimated a change at the point might be in order.

"He can run, but we have to run with him," Loughery said of Bogues. "And we haven't done a good job rebounding. He's not playing with a great deal of confidence. And at that position, the lead guard, that's very tough."

Loughery said he didn't want to speculate on making a change right after the game. But he did say that Bogues' confidence has to come back.

"He still has the physical skills. You lose it mentally," Loughery said. "There's a good chance we might make some changes in that area. I think that there may be a little too much pressure on him."

Reserve guard Frank Johnson, who suffered a slight sprain of his right ankle (his left foot has plagued him through his career), played the point with Walker and scored 12 points.

"Right now, all I want to do is play basketball and do what I have to to make us a better ballclub," Johnson said. "All I want is quality time."

The second team, which is currently composed of Williams, Walker, Johnson, Mark Alarie and Manute Bol, used a trapping defense to force the Pistons out of their offense and into 14 turnovers. The defense led to loads of fast-break opportunities for Williams, King and Walker.

"It's been a long time since we've beat somebody by so many points," said Williams, who was seven of nine from the field and seven of eight from the foul line. "It seems the team's morale is better now."

Washington broke open a tight game late in the third and early in the final quarter. Down by 70-69 with 4:30 left in the third, the Bullets went on an 18-8 run to end the period.

Moses Malone started the run with a short jumper in the lane. After two free throws by Detroit's Bill Laimbeer, King scored on an alley-oop from Charles Jones. Walker then scored twice to put the Bullets up by five, 77-72. The Bullets then sandwiched six free throws (31 of 37 on the night, 84 percent) around two Detroit free throws to take an 83-74 lead.

Thomas hit a base-line jumper and two free throws, the last of his 15 third-quarter points, to close the margin to 85-78. But Bol ended the quarter with a layin from Walker to give Washington a nine-point lead going into the final period.

They began the fourth period with an 8-2 run to blow the game open. Williams scored nine of the Bullets' 15 points to start the period. Alarie hit a layin to put Washington up, 95-80. Walker added five midway through the quarter as the Bullets pulled away.

"Last year, I came off the bench the whole season," Walker said. "I play well off the bench. A lot of guys have egos about starting, but I could care less."

The Bullets shot 48 percent in the first half, by far their best shooting performance since embarking on their road trip, in taking a 55-51 halftime lead. Jeff Malone was seven for 10 to lead Washington with 14 points, including a variety of jumpers from both sides of the hoop.

The lead seesawed until Washington took control late in the half. Jeff Malone hit two jumpers, and Johnson had a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Bullets their halftime margin.

"When {the reserves} came in, we were down, seven or eight points," Loughery said. "And they got it right back for us."

The Bullets travel to Indiana Wednesday to play the Pacers, then have home games against Atlanta and Seattle. For now, they hope their starters can keep up with their reserves. "When you have guys who historically shoot 47, 48 percent, that usually comes out in the wash," Loughery said. "A slump in shooting is like in baseball. It's contagious."