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Riding the Bullets Bench December

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Bullets Get Buzzed By Stinging Hornets As Rice Cooks

30 December 1996. Charlotte Hornets 101, Washington Bullets 92 (record: 15-14)
Game leaders: Howard (23 points), Webber (14 rebounds), Webber (7 assists)

This wasn't the way the calendar year was supposed to end this season, but the Bullets have yet to solve the riddle posed by the Hornets. Glen Rice stings the Bullets for 38 points as the Bullets play catchup for most of the night before fading in the final three minutes.

Second Half Defense Spurs Bullets
The past two games, as well as tonight's comeback, are spurred by tighter defense. Why such a discrepancy in two halves?
The Bullets made a game of it, being down by 16 points in the third quarter before briefly taking the lead in the fourth quarter. They were down 4 with just over 3 minutes left when Webber was fouled and hit his first free throw. His second free throw bounced right and Strickland crashed the boards and dished an assist to Howard under the basket, who scored and was fouled. The made free throw tied the game at 92. And the Bullets didn't score again in the game.

End Of Year Notes
Here's the latest on the Bullets name change and Murray's shooting problems.
Webber chipped in with 22 points and Strickland had 19 points and 10 rebounds, but Muresan had 6 points and Cheaney had a big, fat ZERO points (in 21 minutes). Big Gheorghe was a non-factor in this game. In fact, when he was brought back into the game with about 4 minutes left, the Bullets offense went silent. Muresan was basically dead wood on the offensive end, because the Bullets weren't looking to him for points. In fact, Muresan made a stupid foul that broke the 92-92 tie, and the Bullets never looked better from then on.

Which gets me on to another rant, Lynam's substitution patterns. I won't detail the excesses here, but suffice it to say, last night was generally one of Lynam's worst substitution pattern games of the year. He was making mostly wrong moves at the wrong time. And don't get me started on his starting lineups for each half...

Still, the Bullets finish this calendar year with a winning record, but their record is actually worse than last year--the Bullets were 15-13 at the end of December last year. The Bullets faded in January and February last year before turning things on late in the season. Let's hope this isn't in store for the Bullets this season.

wtf 31 December 1996

<== Second Half Defense Again Propels Bullets To Victory MCI Center Continues To Go Up, Looks Impressive  ==>

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