INDIANAPOLIS, DEC. 19 -- The Washington Bullets and Indiana Pacers are two teams that just plain don't like each other. It showed tonight, which made the Bullets' 114-112 overtime victory all the sweeter for them.

Galvanized by a fourth-quarter fight and ejection involving the unlikely duo of Pervis Ellison and Indiana's Rik Smits, the Bullets (8-15) hung tough down the stretch and in the overtime, where they were led by forwards Bernard King and Harvey Grant, to win for just the third time on the road this season.

King scored 37 points, including an amazing twisting shot in the lane with 1:23 left in the extra period that put Washington ahead for good. After that, he got a backdoor pass from guard Darrell Walker and went past Mike Sanders for a layin with 36 seconds remaining to give the Bullets a 113-110 lead.

After free throws from Indiana's Reggie Miller (team-high 34 points), Grant (26 points, 11 rebounds) made one of two free throws with 19.6 seconds left, giving the Bullets a two-point lead. Then Indiana's Greg Dreiling and Chuck Person (22 points) both missed short shots in the lane, and King grabbed the rebound and dribbled out the clock.

"Each time we play Indiana," King said, "it's very emotional for a variety of reasons, I guess, from the players to the coaches. There's always something that occurs in the game that sets either team off. Tonight you had a couple of incidents."

King and Person squared off a couple of minutes after Ellison and Smits were tossed with 4:55 left in regulation. Washington seemed more aroused by the incident afterward.

That may have been because Ellison played his best game of the season. He grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds and scored 14 points in 25 minutes, showing an aggressiveness at both ends of the floor that he hadn't showed before.

"Pervis was sensational," Bullets Coach Wes Unseld said. "This is the kind of game we've all been looking for. He played like {the first pick in the 1989 draft} tonight. We had a hell of an effort from a lot of people."

Ellison helped Washington dominate the taller Pacers in rebounding 55-34, the Bullets' largest margin of the season.

"It was just two athletes playing hard," Ellison said of the fight, which he appeared to get the better of. "In any sport, things like that can happen. He's a physical player and I tried to be physical with him. It's not {as if} he plays dirty or anything."

Said Walker (10 points): "I'm proud of Pervis. Please write that I'm proud of him. Darrell Walker is very proud of Pervis. I didn't know he had it in him. I didn't think he would fight anybody. He's such a mild-mannered guy."

Indiana (9-16) took a nine-point lead early in the third quarter, but a 17-4 Washington surge gave the Bullets an 84-82 lead after three. The Pacers used a 9-2 run to take a 91-86 lead with 8:21 left in regulation, but Washington had nine of the next 10 points, with Ellison giving the Bullets a 95-92 lead at 5:25. Soon afterward, however, he and Smits were gone for the night.

"We got tied up on the rebound," Smits said, "and we were running down the court elbow-to-elbow and started arguing about what happened. And the next thing, we were punching each other."

Later, Miller's three-point play with 2:29 left in regulation gave the Pacers a 104-102 lead, but King tied it. Miller made two free throws and Grant made a driving basket and was fouled with 36.2 seconds to go. But he missed the free throw, and the game wound up even at 106 at the end of regulation after the Bullets couldn't get off a shot on their last possession.

Dreiling missed two foul shots at 1:39 of overtime, with the Pacers ahead 110-109. At the other end, King tried to post up. Grant got him the entry pass, but defensive help came from the other side.

It left King somewhat helpless in the air. But he managed to turn enough to get a look at the basket, and he flipped a bank shot in for a one-point Washington lead.

"That's probably the most athletic move I've done in five years," King laughed afterward. "I thought, if I came down, there would probably be weakside help and I'd get the shot blocked. It was just a natural, instinctive thing to do."

After King's backdoor basket, Miller sandwiched two free throws around Grant's one, and the Pacers had a chance to tie or win on the final possession. But Charles Jones altered Person's shot, and Washington was celebrating over one of its favorite victims.

"I don't think we like each other," Unseld said. "That's no secret. And it shows out on the floor."