SEATTLE, JAN. 20 -- Mark Alarie came out west with the Bullets not knowing how much playing time he'd get the rest of this season. But with the injury to Harvey Grant, Alarie got a chance to play, and did pretty well.

Friday, against Portland, Alarie had 12 points and a season-high nine rebounds. Saturday in Seattle he had five rebounds and a block in 16 minutes, though he hit just two of seven.

"I thought Mark played very well," Coach Wes Unseld said.

"I don't feel good about what happened," Alarie said. "If I have to play at the expense of Harvey not playing, it's not good for this team. At least I got some time and contributed, but we lost both games."

Grant, suffering from shin splints, did return to the lineup against Seattle. He decided to play after therapy on his right leg Saturday afternoon. Considering his pain, he played pretty well, with 19 points and six rebounds in 39 minutes.

"I just wanted to come out and give it a try," he said, "until I get back {to Washington} and get the bone scan {Tuesday} and see what happens." Young, Strong Up Front

The SuperSonics impressed the Bullets with their young front court of Shawn Kemp and Derrick McKey. The duo totaled 31 points and 17 rebounds Saturday, even though they shot a combined 12 of 28.

"We have talent that runs right down to the 12th man," Coach K.C. Jones said. "What we need is to have our guys read the defense and produce on offense."

"Teams can't guard both Shawn and me, so I can be active and go all out," said center Olden Polynice, who shredded the Bullets for a career-high 27 points and seven rebounds. . . .

Unseld had a postgame talk Saturday with Pervis Ellison, whose performance has gone back and forth, much like others with whom Unseld has spoken.

Asked if playing four games in five nights was a factor, Ellison said: "That's the NBA. You can't use that as a cop-out. I'm sure it had something to do with our performance, but that's no excuse. Everyone in the league is doing it."