The Bullets were burned again by last-second three-point pyrotechnics Saturday night. They led by three with eight seconds left in regulation, when Indiana's George McCloud somehow got wide open for a three that tied the game and sent it into overtime.

"We were in a foul situation," Coach Wes Unseld said. "The call was to foul. We even told the officials we were going to foul so they wouldn't call a flagrant foul. But Byron {Irvin} missed the switch."

Philadelphia tied the Bullets eight nights earlier in a similar situation. In such times Washington plays its "Blitz" defense, meaning each player is supposed to pick up whoever is open when screens are set. But . . .

"Very frustrating," Unseld said.

Stage Fright

Larry Robinson comes from just outside Shreveport, and his idol in school was another Louisiana lad named Joe Dumars. Friday, Robinson got to start against the 1989 NBA Finals MVP.

When Robinson was growing up in Bossier City, La., Dumars was playing in Natchitoches, about an hour away. Friday, Dumars scored 19, an intimidated Robinson four. It all led to the decision to start Haywoode Workman on Saturday.

"I couldn't really focus," Robinson said. "I kind of sensed that Coach Wes knew that. In this league you just have to block that out of your mind. I'll get another chance at him, hopefully. I think it'll be a different story."

First Rust

Mark Alarie's DNP Saturday night broke an ironman streak dating back to the 1988-89 season. He played in all 82 games last year.