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Riding the Bullets Bench January

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Hornets Find Shots Tough As Bullets Crush Pesky Hornets

4 Janaury 1997. Washington Bullets 104, Charlotte Hornets 93 (record: 16-15)
Game leaders: Strickland (28 points), Muresan (14 rebounds), Strickland (11 assists)

Now, this was a pleasant surprise. The Hornets were doing it to the Bullets again in the first half. They trailed by as much as 12 points in the second quarter, and they were playing without Chris Webber. (Webber sprained his right index finger in the Knicks game on Thursday night.) The halftime score was 61-53, and the Bullets didn't look good for this win.

Real Defense, Skimpy Offense
Unfortuantely, they don't play it all the time. But as they showed in the third quarter of this game, the Bullets can turn up the heat against opponents.
Then, the Bullets woke up from their New Year's slumber. The Hornets had as mant points (7) as turnovers in the third quarter and shot an abysmal 2 of 18 in the quarter. The Hornets didn't score between the 5:41 point of the third quarter and 10:42 point of the fourth quarter, nearly 8 minutes long. Charlotte finished shooting 42.1% from the field, compared with 54.3% for the Bullets. And that's how they win games.

Rod Strickland (28 points, 11 assists, 2 3-pointers) and Tracy Murray (20 points, 3 rebounds, 1 3-pointer) went gonzo on the Hornets. The Bullets also got solid performances from Howard (17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists), Muresan (15 points, 14 rebounds), and even Calbert Cheaney (11 points). (Way to go, Cheaney, especially after going oh-fer against Rice earlier in the week.)

It should also be noted that Tim Legler is now traveling with the team, although not in uniform. He's hoping to get more practice time with the team by participating in scrimmages, in the hopes of returning later this month. Hope to see you soon, Tim. And the NBA had better invite Tim to the 3-Point Shootout at the All-Star Game this season, even though he's missed most of the season. He deserves the right to defend his title.

wtf 6 January 1997

<== Knicks Stifle Bullets, Though Lorenzo Williams Returns Suns Set Without Win, Bullets Shine In Win  ==>

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