NEW YORK, JAN. 31 -- Thomas and Thelma King, the parents, sat in the front row at Madison Square Garden. Thomas King raised his arms in triumph, just as his son, Bernard, had done seconds earlier, after he had dropped the last of his 49 points on the heads of the New York Knicks.

"Words can't describe". . . . Thomas King said, and they couldn't. Not when his son made 20 of 35 shots, grabbed 11 rebounds and played the entire second half, leading a stricken Washington Bullets team to a 107-98 victory tonight before 14,227. Not when the Bullets got the kind of win that has been known to turn seasons around.

But the win was bittersweet for Washington (20-24), which ended a six-game Madison Square Garden losing streak. Darrell Walker went down in the first half with a sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, and the preliminary diagnosis by Knicks physician Norman Scott -- the same man that rebuilt King's knee in 1985 -- was that Walker would miss at least four weeks.

Also, Mark Alarie was hit just under the orbit of his right eye by teammate Charles Jones in the first half. The eye was lacerated, and Alarie was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital for evaluation, then released. He will be examined by an opthamologist Friday and his status for Friday's game with Detroit is uncertain.

Yet, Washington won. Because King wouldn't let them lose in the fourth quarter, hitting 10 of 13 shots for 21 points, including the first 11 of the period.

"You just have your mind set that you're going to get the job done," King said, "that you won't be denied. I wanted to win this game bad. I called a lot of plays and Wes {Unseld} called a lot of plays for me in the fourth quarter, and fortunately I was able to score."

King wouldn't let the Bullets lose, when they actually had every reason to. With Walker and Alarie out, Unseld took guard Ledell Eackles out of deep freeze off the bench to start the second half. Rookie A. J. English played 27 minutes. Rookie Haywoode Workman had 13 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds. Harvey Grant scored 13 of his 21 points in the second half.

For New York (19-25), Patrick Ewing led the way with 29 points and nine rebounds, but the Knicks shot just 43 percent.

Walker slipped after grabbing an offensive rebound in a crowd. Fortunately for him, his leg folded up underneath him instead of going another way, one that would have injured him the way John Williams was injured.

"I wound up sitting on it," Walker said. "It felt kind of good because I was able to move on it a little bit and I didn't feel like it was that painful. I couldn't believe it when {Scott} said 'You're going to be out three, four weeks.' I said 'What are you talking about, Dr. Scott?' "

Walker will be examined by Bullets physician Steve Haas Friday morning, and will see what magnetic resonance imagery shows.

With two of their better rebounders out, and Jones playing gamely on a pulled left hamstring, Washington was beaten on the boards badly in the first half and trailed by 56-47 at the half.

But Grant came out fast in the third period, and Washington was quickly within two after a 10-3 run to start the quarter. With Grant winding up with 12 in the period, and the Bullets' new guard trio holding its own, Washington scored the last six points of the third and led, 75-73, going to the final period.

Ewing scored to open the fourth, and the game was tied. It was the game's next-to-last tie. King started the fourth with a leaner on the right side against Kiki Vandeweghe (16 points), the first of four Knicks who tried vainly to stop him in the next 12 minutes.

Kenny Walker tied it, but King spun on the left side for two more. He rebounded a Mark Jackson miss and went end-to-end for a basket and foul with 9:23 left, giving the Bullets an 82-77 lead.

The Knicks couldn't get closer, because King kept scoring. Workman's free throws with 6:50 remaining broke King's personal streak, and the Bullets led by five.

The closest New York got was three on free throws by Vandeweghe at 5:15, but King scored on an 18-footer. Grant stripped Vandeweghe at the other end, and English scored on the break for a seven-point lead, forcing a New York timeout with 4:28 to play.

"I mean, we were down and then in a minute and a half, we were up 10," Unseld said. "And I looked at Bernard's face and I knew we were not going to lose this game."

New York was desperate. The Knicks put guard Gerald Wilkins on King. King hit a fadeaway on the right side for a 96-89 lead. Wilkins missed at the other end. King demanded the ball on the left baseline. The Knicks tried to double-team him. The ball was already out of King's hands for two more, and New York was down nine and calling time again.

Walker was watching it all in the Knicks' locker room.

"I was like, 'Too late,' " Walker said. "Too late. You've got to get there quicker if you're going to stop him.' He was so pumped up tonight. It was a hell of a performance. It was the first time he's shown emotion in a long time. B's not like that."

Said King: "I went with a variety of different shots. Whatever was there, I took it. If it was a jump shot, I went for the jump shot. If it was a drive, I went to the drive. If it was a pullup, I went to the pullup. Fortunately, it all worked . . . I don't know what it was like at all. I just noticed that things were getting quiet at the other end."

He got points 48 and 49 from the foul line with 28 seconds remaining, while the crowd rose in a standing ovation.