SAN ANTONIO -- After more than a year away from the game, John Williams was back. Trouble was, his Washington Bullets haven't changed that much.
Williams could not inspire the Bullets sufficiently and the San Antonio Spurs ran off with a 102-92 victory last night in front of 15,908 at the HemisFair Arena.
The Spurs had too much Willie Anderson, David Robinson and a balanced bench for the Bullets to handle.
Anderson and Robinson combined for 41 points. Reserves Paul Pressey had 15 and Sidney Green had 13 along with a season-high 13 rebounds to pace San Antonio.
Williams, playing 14 minutes in his first game after knee surgery, scored three points. He was one of six from the field and one of two from the free-throw line. He had two rebounds and two assists.
Bullets coach Wes Unseld activated Williams yesterday after deciding he was ready for limited action. Williams, who had missed 112 games since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Dec. 4, 1989, had completed extensive rehabilitation and had been deemed fit to play by the team's medical staff.
"It felt good to play," Williams said. "I sure was short on a lot of shots. I'm still carrying extra weight and don't have my legs under me right now. I've got a long way to go before I get back into the swing of things."
His teammates never really got into the swing of things against the Spurs.
Washington hit just 41 percent (39 of 95) of its shots for the game, and Bernard King, the league's third-leading scorer at 29.9 points an outing, was hampered by fouls and ended with 22 points.
"They [the Spurs] played a very solid game," Bullets forward Harvey Grant said. "They pushed the ball up the floor very well and always seemed to beat us to the punch. We were a little sluggish out there tonight and I think that might have been attributed to the [five-day All-Star] layoff we had."
The Spurs began to take control of the game late in the first quarter. After Robinson hit two free throws with 2 minutes, 1 second to go for a 26-21 lead, San Antonio scored six of the next seven to close out the quarter up, 32-22.
After King hit a turnaround to begin the second quarter, Sean Higgins started a San Antonio run in the first seven minutes with a jumper from the corner and Pressey hit three baskets in the span as the Spurs went ahead, 45-27, with 7:53 to play.
"Paul Pressey and Sean Elliott played well against Bernard tonight," said Spurs coach Larry Brown. "The biggest thing they needed to do was hold down his percentage, and they did that."