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Scoring a win is only stat Webber is worried about


LANDOVER -- It was a vintage Chris Webber performance against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night, when he scored 22 points and grabbed 20 rebounds. But there was no cause for celebration afterward.

"It's nothing to feel good about," Webber said after the 112-96 loss -- the Washington Bullets' fifth in a row. "Who cares about stats? I'm here to win, and when we win I'll start feeling good."

Webber's statistics were impressive, but they could have been even more dominant had there been a little more familiarity with his teammates. Several times Webber popped free in the lane and failed to get the ball. But he says it's much too early to become frustrated.

"We have to get acclimated with where people like the ball, and where they don't," Webber said. "Hopefully in time we'll have it down. Hopefully the more together we play, the more comfortable we'll get."

Webber is hoping that comfort comes soon, because he's not comfortable losing. After 50 wins with Golden State last season and back-to-back NCAA title game appearances with Michigan, Webber can't recall losing three games in a row.

"I'm not a loser, Calbert [Cheaney] is not a loser, I can name everybody's name on this team," Webber said. "I'm not going to get used to losing and I'm not going to let us get used to losing. I don't care if we lose and I throw a tantrum in the middle of the floor, whatever it takes, I'm not going to get used to that."

Coach Jim Lynam can see the problems. But he didn't expect miracles when Webber and Juwan Howard joined the team over a week ago.

"I can say we had a bad shooting night," said Lynam, after watching his team hit 41.0 percent. "But we're out of sync on the offensive end."

Which is coinciding with point guard Scott Skiles being out of sync the past two games. Skiles had 11 points and nine assists in Friday's loss to Cleveland, which benefited from the penetration of All-Star point guard Mark Price. Against the Lakers, Skiles had seven assists and four points, hitting just one of eight shots in 28 minutes.

"I'm frustrated by my own play," Skiles said. "I need to first not let myself get frustrated. We have to keep working hard and hope things work out."

When the Bullets fell behind in the second half, Lynam went for quickness and replaced Skiles with Doug Overton, who finished with six points and just one assist.

"In the second half, he was fine," Lynam said of Overton. "Overall, I think he's been adequate. For Doug to be who he ought to be, he has to make a share of his jumpers. You look at his percentages [39.4 percent] and it's not where it should be."

Poor perimeter shooting hurt the Bullets, who went 0-for-11 from three-point range. The resulting long rebounds led to the Lakers getting a 25-13 edge in fast-break points.

"[Nick] Van Exel got most of his stuff in transition," Skiles said of the Lakers guard, who finished with 22 points. "We missed a lot of shots early, and they got out and scored."

A year ago the Bullets were 6-6 at the end of November, and everyone raved about their improvement. Going into tomorrow's game against the New York Knicks, Washington is shooting for 5-6.

Skiles has no idea how long it will take for the team to start clicking.

"I've seen it take a lot of time, I've seen it happen right away," Skiles said. "It's hard to say."

Webber hopes it comes soon.

"Right now I'm glad everybody walked out [of the locker room] mad," he said. "Because if we're walking out of here right now smiling, we have a problem on the team."

NOTES: Gheorghe Muresan, who missed the past four games with a sprained left knee, should be available tomorrow night. . . . Kevin Duckworth missed the second half after suffering a pulled groin muscle.

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