DALLAS, FEB. 15 -- The NBA is full of top-shelf guards, if their play against the Washington Bullets is any indication. Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper continued the hit parade tonight, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 121-96 thrashing before 17,007 at Reunion Arena.

Blackman, one of the best teachers going, schooled Ledell Eackles and Byron Irvin all game, scoring 28 points on 11-of-13 shooting. Harper, one of the steadiest point guards, had 17 points, 14 assists and 5 steals. The Mavericks' backcourt outscored the Bullets' 64-26.

Center James Donaldson led five others in double figures with 13 points, and cleaned up on the backboards with 16 rebounds. Dallas (18-29) led throughout and by 21 points in the third quarter.

Washington's only bright spot was John Williams, who had his best game since returning this week, with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in 26 minutes. Pervis Ellison, in his second start this season, had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Bernard King, who's averaging nearly 30 points, had 14 to lead Washington. The Bullets (21-30) were never close, losing their sixth in seven games. They went zero for three in Texas for the second straight season.

It completed a bad day for the Bullets, who learned this afternoon that guard Haywoode Workman will be out at least another week with the strained groin he suffered Feb. 1. Washington will sign Clinton Smith to a second 10-day contract Saturday.

"This has not been a good road trip at all," said Harvey Grant (13 points). "In all three of the games we had we got in a hole, and the teams we played, you can't do that."

Washington's guards were outscored 35-6 in the first half. They didn't hit a field goal until Eackles sank a jumper two minutes into the third quarter. By then, the Mavericks were ahead 69-49, having trapped the Bullets all over the court in the first half.

A.J. "English is young and he's going to be getting better," Blackman said. "Ledell has proven himself to be a very good basketball player. . . . The main thing was he was a little tired tonight. I could see that. Maybe he had a little trouble jump-starting himself into this basketball game. The main thing was to try to apply as much pressure as you possibly could."

"We really took advantage of the fact that two of their players were out of the lineup," Mavericks Coach Richie Adubato said. "The full-court press helped us create turnovers {22 by the Bullets}. I thought we had excellent continuity. And we wanted to keep the ball away from Bernard King."

Eackles was walking around the locker room very slowly afterward. He said he did something to his back in the first quarter and never got loose. "I made a funny move or something," he said. "It felt like everything slipped, like my top went up but my bottom went down."

Dallas was cruising 87-65 late in the third when the Bullets made their only noise, ending with a 9-2 run and an 89-74 deficit. They scored seven of the first eight in the fourth, with English's free throw with 9:31 left making it 91-81. The Bullets were halfcourt trapping, putting Ellison at the back. Irvin (nine points) and English got the ball out of the Mavericks' guards' hands. And at the center of it was Williams, who found Ellison trailing in transition for a dunk on a spinning pass that looked vintage.

"We picked up the tempo some, got out there and played them," Williams said. "We tried to get them to do some things they weren't accustomed to doing. It was working for a while. We made a run at them."

But they tired. The starters went back in and Dallas scored nine of the next 12 points. Rodney McCray finished it with a transition dunk at 6:34, putting the Mavericks up 103-84.

Word around the NBA tends to spread quickly. "We've got three {off-guards} and a guy that hasn't been here for us but 10 days," Bullets Coach Wes Unseld said. "I don't expect things to change."