BALTIMORE -- The last time the Washington Bullets played in Baltimore they lost in double overtime to Milwaukee. They remembered that game Sunday when they went to an extra session against Cleveland.
However, this time, Bernard King made sure there would be a happier ending for the Bullets by scoring 10 overtime points to lift Washington to a 122-117 triumph over the Cavaliers.
'When we went into overtime, I thought to myself that we didn't want a repeat of the loss to Milwaukee,' Washington forward Mark Alarie said. 'Then Bernard got hot and we won.'
On Jan. 6, the Bullets played their first regular-season game in Baltimore Arena since 1973 and loss 128-121 to the Bucks before just 6,429 fans. This time, 10,129 spectators came to the 11,000-seat arena to watch the Bullets win.
'It was good to win here with a big crowd,' Alarie said. 'They saw a really good basketball game.'
The Cavaliers had forced overtime when Mark Price nailed a 3-point field goal with 11 seconds left in the regulation that made the score 107-107. But King made sure the Bullets would beat the team with the NBA's best record (31-9).
'They made some fine shots and got some big rebounds, especially in overtime,' Cleveland Coach Lenny Wilkens said. 'They were able to get inside on us in the overtime and they hurt us. We also missed some key shots in overtime, they got the rebound and went down and scored. That took away any momentum we had built up.'
The Bullets, who do not have a natural center, outrebounded the Cavaliers 47-39. They were helped by the fact the Cavaliers were without their star center Brad Daugherty, suspended one game for a fight against Detroit's Bill Laimbeer. Cleveland also lost forward Larry Nance with an ankle injury early in the second quarter.
Price led the Cavaliers with a career-high 33 points and Mike Sanders had 26.
King hit a free throw with 1:03 to play in regulation to put Washington ahead 105-104. Jeff Malone, who had 24 points, made it 107-104. Price erased that with his 3-pointer.
Washington had trailed by 20 points several times in the first half.
'We fell behind by so many points, but we didn't want to be embarrassed,' King said. 'We talked it over when we had that little run at the end of the half. We decided we had a whole half to play and weren't dead yet. We closed it to 60-54 with a 10-point run just before the half so we knew we could catch them.'