LANDOVER, Md. — Jay Vincent is back.
Vincent, the Washington Bullet forward who has been sidelined this season after tearing a tendon in his right ring finger in the Bullets' first exhibition game last October, made his first appearance of the 1986-87 National Basketball Assn. season Tuesday night against the Clippers.
Vincent came off the bench to score 23 points as the Bullets beat the Clippers, 112-97, before 8,139 fans at the Capital Centre.
"I wanted to come back and have a pretty good game," Vincent said.
The Clippers have lost 13 consecutive games, their longest losing streak of the season and the second longest in franchise history. They have lost 25 of their last 26 games, winning only once in the last 56 days.
"We've got to draw the line," Clipper guard Mike Woodson said. "Sure, we've been competitive, but it's about winning ballgames.
"I'm tired of losing and I'm sure the other 11 guys on the team feel the same way. It is very frustrating. I'll tell you it's no fun."
Vincent couldn't have picked an easier team to come back against than the woeful Clippers.
Vincent was traded from Dallas to Washington last September for a first-round draft pick in 1990. However, he was injured in the first quarter of his first exhibition game with the Bullets on Oct. 10 in Atlanta. "I'll remember the day I got hurt for the rest of my life," Vincent said.
Vincent underwent surgery to repair the tendon, and he came off the injured list Tuesday morning.
"Jay Vincent came back impressive," Bullet Coach Kevin Loughery said. "I think you saw the first glimpse of what another true scorer can do for you. He takes the pressure off the other people and he creates more diversity by just getting the ball in the other players' hands.
"He (Vincent) has a scorer's mentality. When he comes in the game, he knows he's going to get his points."
Vincent made 10 of 19 shots from the field and 3 of 6 free throws in 35 minutes. He also had 5 rebounds.
"I've liked Jay Vincent for four years, and we've been trying to get him for five," Clipper Coach Don Chaney said.
However, Vincent had a lot of help from the Malones as the Bullets (15-16) broke a two-game losing streak against the Clippers (4-28).
Center Moses Malone scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 28 minutes. Moses also blocked 3 shots.
All-Star guard Jeff Malone scored 23 points and passed for 7 assists.
Manute Bol, the Bullets' 7-7 backup center, had a season-high 7 blocked shots in 20 minutes. The Bullets blocked a season-high 15 shots against the Clippers.
Bol also scored 9 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
"This might be the best game I've played this season," Bol said.
Rookie John Williams, playing point guard, scored 9 points and had 5 assists off the bench. Williams played point guard at Crenshaw High in Los Angeles, but this was his first time in the NBA.
"I feel pretty comfortable at point guard," Williams said. "But I still think of myself as a forward. The hardest part about playing point guard is playing defense."
It was another miserable game for the Clippers, who were playing their fourth game in five nights.
"This is beyond frustration," said Clipper guard Larry Drew, who scored 18 points.
The Clippers had been competitive in a 108-102 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night. But it was a different story against the Bullets.
"The first quarter was good, that's all I can say. The rest of the game stunk," Chaney said. "It was a typical back-to-back game for us. We don't have players who can play well when we play two games in a row. Some of our players are equipped with excuses.
"The only player who can play consistently in back-to-back games is Michael Cage."
Cage scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to tie his season high. He had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the second half. Cage has been in double figures in both points and rebounds for the last 14 consecutive games.
Clipper forward Cedric Maxwell scored just 1 point in 22 minutes before fouling out.
"It's hard to understand why we can't play well in back-to-back games," Maxwell said. "I don't think it's a lack of desire. I think we are satisfied with being competitive and not getting blown out. Maybe we're not set to win mentally. We can just get close enough to smell a win and then . . . "
The Bullets placed forward-guard Mike O'Koren on the injured list to make room for Jay Vincent. O'Koren has been bothered by a sore back this season. . . . Ex-Washington guard Gus Williams signed with the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday. The Bullets received a second-round draft pick in 1990 from the Hawks as compensation for Williams. . . . The Clippers play the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night at Richfield, Ohio.