In a season that has been little but aggravation for them since the opening day of training camp, the Washington Bullets dealt off a dose of it last night to the two-time NBA defending champion Detroit Pistons.

Standing fast against a rally and bench-clearing fight in the fourth quarter, the Bullets scored a 94-83 victory last night before a sellout crowd of 18,756 at Capital Centre.

Bernard King scored 26 points and Harvey Grant had 19 and eight rebounds as the Bullets (5-10) ended a 12-game losing streak to Detroit that dates back to April 1988. Also halted was a 10-game winning streak against the league by the Pistons, part of a 13-2 season start that is the best in their franchise history.

The Bullets had their biggest lead, 21 points, late in the third quarter. But through the first 5:37 of the fourth period, Washington made only one field goal and saw its lead shrink to 80-72 after Pistons guard Vinnie Johnson made two consecutive baskets.

But King finally scored for Washington, and within the next minute guard Haywoode Workman (11 points, career-high eight assists) made two 15-foot shots to raise the lead to 86-72 with 5:21 remaining.

"You knew they would make a run and turn it up a notch," Washington Coach Wes Unseld said of the Pistons. "I wasn't sure we could hold them off because we haven't done a very good job of that lately."

With 2:29 remaining, after two free throws by Isiah Thomas cut the margin to 87-80, Grant and Detroit's Joe Dumars got into a shoving match near the Pistons' basket. Both benches emptied and even Unseld got in the middle of the fracas as it spawned other skirmishes.

Technical fouls were assessed to Grant, Dumars, Detroit's Dennis Rodman and Washington's Darrell Walker, who shoved big Bill Laimbeer onto his backside, but all were allowed to stay in the game.

"The only thing I remember is Joe and I holding each other," said Grant. "Then Rodman grabbed me and then Laimbeer grabbed me. I think Rodman is their pep-up guy and he was trying to get something started."

Rodman, who like Thomas (16 points), fouled out late in the game, said he was playing peacemaker, not instigator.

"I didn't throw one punch. I am not the type of guy to throw a punch," said Rodman. "I was trying to push them back from each other when someone else grabbed me."

The fourth quarter was the only time the Pistons showed much aggression. They shot only 37.3 percent made just 58.3 percent (21 of 36) of their free throws.

"We didn't shoot real well, but the bottom line is that if you miss that many free throws, especially on the road, you will get beat," said Detroit Coach Chuck Daly.

The Pistons also received little support from their reserves, but the Bullets, playing their best game of the season, got a big boost from heretofore struggling reserve Mark Alarie (14 points and six rebounds in 17 minutes) and little-used 6-foot-11 rookie Greg Foster (seven points).

They contributed on a night that frontcourt mate Pervis Ellison was not in uniform due to flu.

"The bench was the big key," said Unseld. "Mark Alarie started looking like the Mark Alarie of old."

Over the past three seasons, the Pistons were 84-9 when holding opponents under 100 points, including 11-0 this season before last night. The Bullets were coming off their worst defeat of the season, 123-95 Friday night at Boston. They had been held under 100 points in five of their previous seven games and lost all five.

But last night, Washington never trailed. The Bullets jumped to a 9-1 lead in the opening four minutes and were up 48-38 at the half.

King scored 10 of his 16 first-half points in the opening quarter as he got the best of Rodman, Detroit's best defender.

The high-powered Pistons offense was having so much trouble that it even started going to Rodman (eight points) for post-ups, hoping he could make something happen.

Dumars, Detroit's leading scorer with a 17.8-point average, was scoreless in the first half, although he finished with 16.

The Pistons quickly cut the lead to 57-51 early in the third period, but Washington kept the pace up and got fast-break baskets by Grant and King, who came down the lane and received a pass from Walker (10 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) to extend the lead to 59-51.

Workman scored on a 19-foot shot, off a cross-court pass from King, and Workman then passed to Walker, who scored for a 68-54 lead with 3:24 left in the quarter.

Foster's three-point play made it 76-55 with 1:51 left in the quarter.

"We knew they would eventually make a run," said Grant. "But Wes called time out {with Washington leading 80-68 and nine minutes remaining} and said, 'We are going to win this game.' "

Unseld, more than pleased with his team's effort, acknowledged that the Pistons did not have one of their best nights.

"They didn't shoot well, but I am not taking anything away from us either," he said. " . . . They might be a little better than us, but lately, they have been a little better than everyone."