Sometimes it takes days to forget about a victory. Sometimes it takes hours to wind down. In the case of the Washington Bullets' 121-119 escape from the Orlando Magic yesterday at Capital Centre, it might have taken about 30 seconds.

This one, before a holiday matinee turnout of 9,210, was a near thing over a team that was 2-19 on the road coming in yet made every effort to keep the Bullets' recent slide going. Washington was saved at the last by Darrell Walker's tiebreaking jump shot with 1.4 seconds to play, giving him his third triple-double of the season -- 10 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists.

Walker also defensed Orlando's last-gasp chance to win, flashing out on the seemingly automatic Dennis Scott (30 points), who had a good look at a three-pointer near the right sideline. But the shot glanced off the far rim, both Scott and Walker wound up in the seats and Washington (17-21) had secured its fifth straight home victory.

The game was 119-all after Orlando's Scott Skiles (27 points, 12 assists) hit two free throws with 19.4 seconds left. Washington ran its "two-down" play, with Bernard King setting a screen high for Ledell Eackles. But both were well covered, and Eackles threw a pass at Walker's feet on the left wing.

With Skiles right on him, Walker picked up the ball and made the 20-footer.

"I got the ball and just picked it up and shot it off the floor," Walker said. "I knew there was not a lot of time on the shot clock."

Said Skiles: "Darrell hit a nice shot but I played him tough. He faked going up and usually you miss the next shot. He didn't."

Forward Harvey Grant, in his second outing since missing a game with chronic shin splints, played 46 minutes and led the Bullets with 31 points, garnished with a career-high eight assists. King had a fourth straight subpar shooting night (six of 18) but was 10 of 10 from the foul line and had 22 points.

Eackles rebounded from two poor games out west with a season-high 25 points as a reserve in 26 minutes of playing time. Backup center Pervis Ellison, who was talked to by Coach Wes Unseld along with several other reserves after Saturday's loss in Seattle, had 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. And reserve forward Mark Alarie had another solid game with 11 points in 17 minutes.

"We were lucky to win this one," King said. "When they saw they had a chance to possibly win the game, they stepped their intensity up and started playing better. . . . Fortunately we got the big shots when we needed, and that shot by Darrell. He's not a jump shooter, but he's a pressure shooter."

"If {King's} not going well," Grant said, "the team has confidence in me, and I have confidence in myself to be able to take up the slack."

The problem wasn't points. The Bullets had more than enough to win. But they couldn't figure how to slow down Skiles, who drove left, right and down the middle. When the defense helped, Skiles found Scott open for one of his four three-pointers.

Skiles, Scott and former Bullets forward Terry Catledge (24 points, 13 rebounds) thus erased a 14-point third-quarter deficit, scoring 12 in a row to get Orlando within 90-88 after three. And the Magic (10-30) went up 103-99 early in the fourth on Scott's three-pointer.

The game seesawed from there, with eight ties, and time had to be kept on the floor for more than four minutes after the arena's game clock blew out.

The game was tied at 109, and 111, and 113, and 115, and 117 after Scott came across the lane for a basket with less than a minute to play. Grant hit a tough fadeaway at 35.1 seconds for a 119-117 lead, and the last deadlock came on Skiles' free throws.

After Walker hit, the Magic set up a play for Scott, the former Flint Hill Prep star who made 12 of 22 shots. Eackles wasn't supposed to let him catch the ball, but Scott came off a pick and was wide open. Walker came at an angle to ensure no foul, but Scott nearly hit the shot.

"He had a good look at it," Orlando Coach Matt Guokas said. "His feet were down under him. It was the shot we wanted."

"I was wide open," Scott said. "I should have stuck it."