There had been the injuries, the slumps and the firing of a coach -- so many distractions and problems that Washington Bullets Coach Wes Unseld recently wondered if there'd ever be an easy night.

Then the Bullets had one last Saturday, beating the Los Angeles Clippers by 32 points. In a weird season, that wasn't the end, but the beginning of a streak that continued last night with a 136-107 romp over the Milwaukee Bucks before 8,316 at Capital Centre.

It was not just a good night, but a spectacular, nearly unbelievable one for the Bullets, who shot 63.8 percent from the field and were headed for a Washington franchise record until missing their final three shots (the last miss cost them the record of 64.1 percent, established against expansion Dallas on Nov. 6, 1980).

As usual, they were led by their raging bull of a center, Moses Malone, who made 14 of 16 shots, scored 36 points and got 14 rebounds.

Forward Bernard King also was terrific, scoring 25 points on nine-for-15 shooting, and guard Jeff Malone added 22 as the Bullets scored a season-high 99 points through three quarters and finished with their highest point total in regulation play.

The victory was their third in four games under Unseld and pushed their record to 11-20. This time, they did not beat the Clippers or the Nets, but the Bucks (18-14), a team headed for the playoffs and one that already had beaten them twice.

This was the right night. The Bucks were without backup center Paul Mokeski (pulled hamstring) and got only 20 minutes from 7-foot-3 center Randy Breuer, who has bruised ribs and loped up and down the floor strapped in a flak jacket.

Still, the Bucks were in the game until early in the third quarter, mainly because of big nights from forward Terry Cummings (18 points) and forward/center Jack Sikma (23 points, 12 rebounds).

"I feel real good about this win," Unseld said. "We really took it to them in the third quarter, and that's what we've got to do. We prepared for Milwaukee, but we didn't dwell on them. That's not the main thing for us. What we've got to do is play as hard as we can and do the things we're capable of. When we did make mistakes tonight, they were on the break and things like that. Those are mistakes I can live with."

Moses Malone began the game with the basket that moved him ahead of George Gervin and into 11th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list -- 20,745 points and counting. He made nine more in a row after that -- finally missing one with 9:14 remaining in the third quarter -- and, in the process, scored on the break, led a break or two and nearly dominated the game.

"That," Milwaukee Coach Del Harris said, "was vintage Moses."

Harris should know. He coached the Houston Rockets in the late '70s and early '80s when Malone was Houston's center and arguably the NBA's dominant player. He may never be that again, but, at 32, he's not finished, either.

"Am I in a groove?" Malone asked, smiling. "I've been in a groove for 14 years."

Especially lately. He has averaged 25 points and 15 rebounds since Unseld replaced Kevin Loughery four games ago, and Unseld said, "We're asking him to do more things than he has done in the past. For most of his career, especially in Houston and Philly, he was asked to play down low and score, score, score. We're bringing him out sometime and getting him to set picks and make passes."

If the Bullets are good enough with Malone low, they may be awesome when he's all over the floor. Last night, when he was high, King was low.

"I'll do whatever the coach wants," Malone said. "I want to do whatever helps us win games. We got hot tonight, but we're running the break and getting a lot of layups. I don't mind playing that way. I'm 32. You all might think it's time for me to go, but I've still got some strength in these old legs."

In a fast and efficient first half, the Bullets came away with a 63-60 lead. Malone was nine for nine with 20 points and the Bullets shot 65.8 percent. The Bucks were barely worse, shooting 52.2 percent and getting 17 points from Sikma and 10 from Cummings.

The game stayed close for a while in the third quarter, and when Sidney Moncrief threw in a jumper from the top of the key with 8:15 remaining, the Bullets' lead was only 73-69.

That was about it. Muggsy Bogues hit a jumper at the other end and, after a Milwaukee miss, Bogues fed Terry Catledge for a fastbreak basket.

Paul Pressey hit a jumper to make it 77-71. Two King foul shots made it 79-71, and after a Pressey turnover, Moses Malone scored on a layup to make it 81-71. He added a foul shot for an 11-point lead, and over the next three minutes, the Bullets would get a Malone tip and two foul shots, a running jumper in the lane from King and a three-point play from John Williams to break the game open.

They led by 93-74 with 2:52 remaining and by 99-81 at the quarter. They broke it open to 20 early in the fourth and to 30 late in the fourth.

Nets 90, Kings 87:

Buck Williams had 21 points and 18 rebounds as New Jersey, playing at home, built a 15-point third-quarter lead and held off Sacramento.

Cavaliers 91, Bulls 88:

Craig Ehlo scored four points in overtime and Brad Daugherty added three for Cleveland in its victory at home.

Rockets 103, Trail Blazers 98:

In Houston, Robert Reid's two foul shots with 48 seconds left broke a tie and Allen Leavell added four free throws for the winners.

Nuggets 115, Hawks 112:

T.R. Dunn made two free throws with nine seconds to play, enabling Denver to end a three-game losing streak despite 34 points from visiting Atlanta's Dominique Wilkins.

MILWAUKEE

Min

FG

FT

R A PF

T Cummings

27

9-12

0-1

8

2

5 18

Reynolds

20

1-5

1-2

1

2

0

3

Sikma

38

9-16

5-5

12

5

6

23

Moncrief

21

4-6

1-2

0

3

4

9

Pressey

30

5-12

3-4

2

7

4

13

Breuer

20

3-9

1-4

2

0

4

7

Hodges

24

2-8

0-0

1

2

1

5

Lucas

25

5-14

4-5

1

3

1

15

Mannion

20

3-5

2-2

1

0

3

8

Henry

5

0-2

1-2

2

2

0

1

Hoppen

10

2-2

1-1

1

0

0

5

Totals

240

43-91

19-28

31

26

28

107 WASHINGTON Min

FG

FT

R

A

PF

T Catledge

21

3-5

2-5

3

0

4

8

King

34

9-15

7-9

5

3

3

25

M. Malone

35

14-16

8-12

14

2

1

36

Colter

22

1-2

0-0

2

6

4

2

J. Malone

36

8-17

6-6

3

6

1

22

Bogues

16

2-4

0-0

2

9

4

4

Williams

24

5-7

5-5

7

4

0

15

Bol

16

1-3

0-0

3

0

3

2

Johnson

22

5-8

4-4

5

3

2

14

Alarie

9

3-3

2-2

0

0

1

8

Jones

5

0-0

0-0

2

1

1

0

Totals

240

51-80

34-43

46

34

24

136 Milwaukee

29

31

21

26

107

Washington

33

30

36

37

136

Three-point goals -- Hodges, Lucas. Steals -- Milwaukee 10 (Hodges 3), Washington 9 (King 3). Turnovers -- Milwaukee 16 (Sikma, Moncrief, Pressey 3), Washington 16 (M. Malone 6). Blocked shots -- Milwaukee 5 (Sikma, Mannion 2), Washington 8 (Bol 2). Technical fouls -- Catledge, Cummings.

Attendance -- 8,316