Pervis Ellison showed a flash, the best he has given the Washington Bullets all season. And the center was at the middle of a late defensive stand that carried the Bullets over the Atlanta Hawks, 104-99, last night at Capital Centre.

Ellison scored six of his 13 points, grabbed seven of his 13 rebounds and added a key block in the final 3:37, during which the Bullets (18-21) held the Hawks (24-16) without a point after Atlanta had taken a 99-92 lead.

In scoring the last 12 points, Washington won its sixth straight at home and broke Atlanta's five-game winning streak. And the Bullets came back to beat a good team that raised its game in the second half after trailing by 14 at intermission.

"It was a big win for us," said guard Darrell Walker, who posted his fourth triple-double of the season with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

"We should have never let them get back in the ballgame, but we did, as usual, and had to battle back," Walker said. "I kept telling the guys to hang in there, we're only down four or six points, and we did. We made some big defensive plays and we pushed the ball up the court, caught them off guard a few times."

"They just clamped us and we couldn't get a good shot," Hawks Coach Bob Weiss said. "This team has definitely improved since we played them {last month}. It's probably the first time {Ellison's} been healthy in a long stretch. He showed good strength against Moses {Malone}. He didn't get pushed around."

The Bullets won with defense.

After getting killed all night on pick-and-rolls by forward Dominique Wilkins (game-high 27 points, 13 rebounds) and guard Spud Webb (22 points), Washington stopped trapping and let Harvey Grant take Wilkins one on one. Wilkins won his share of the duels, but the Hawks what had seemed an unstoppable play had become limited.

Bullets guard Ledell Eackles also was in the game down the stretch, perhaps the first time this season he wasn't in just for his offense.

"We just switched it up," Eackles said. "It's nice to know {Coach Wes Unseld has} confidence in me to keep me in when the game's close. I guess he wants to see what I've got, check my heart level."

But it was Ellison who impacted almost every possession down the stretch.

After Bernard King (team-high 25 points) made free throws at 3:26, Ellison cleared an Atlanta miss. Then Eackles (17 points) missed, but Ellison kept the possession alive with an offensive rebound, and Eackles hit a jumper at 2:31 to make it 99-96.

After Atlanta guard John Battle misfired, Ellison followed both a Walker miss and his own at 1:56, bringing the Bullets within one. Wilkins missed a three-pointer, and Washington came down with a chance to lead. Eackles missed but Ellison grasped another rebound, and Grant (16 points) put Washington ahead, 100-99, with 49 seconds remaining.

On Atlanta's possession, Battle shook loose on the right wing and started to dribble left. But Ellison didn't go for the fake and let the onetime McKinley High athlete make the move, then shoot. Ellison blocked it, grabbed the rebound and called time with 34.9 seconds remaining.

"He had already committed," Ellison said. "He had jumped in the air. I was just going to wait for the ball to come out of his hand. If I had to pick him up out front, it might have been a different story."

The Bullets handled Atlanta's pressure at the other end, after turning the ball over numerous times in the second half.

Eackles wound up with a good shot in the left lane, but it hit the far rim. Ellison, however, was unoccupied and went to the ball, tipping it in with 13.1 seconds remaining to increase Washington's lead to 102-99.

"He's got a nice knack for the ball underneath," Unseld said. "Sometimes when he gets it he brings the ball down, so he ceases to be 6-9 and becomes 6-1, 6-2. We've talked and tried to emphasize that quite a bit. Get the ball, keep it up, and stay tall."

Guard Doc Rivers missed a three-pointer for Atlanta, and the ball went over the backboard with 6.6 seconds left.

It was Ellison who took the inbounds pass, got fouled at 5.7 seconds and hit both free throws to nail down the Bullets' escape. "For us to be a decent team, the bench is going to have to come and help us out," Grant said. "We threw the ball away a couple of times. But in the end we gave ourselves a chance to win."