Charles Barkley ripped the Washington Bullets in the first half last night, and after the game did the same to the NBA.
Barkley doesn't think the NBA should play on Christmas."We played well, but we didn't want to play because it was Christmas Day," he said after Sunday night's 125-110 victory over the Washington Bullets.
"I think it was very hard for them (the Bullets) to travel on Christmas Day. They should give us Christmas Day off. Nobody should have to play on Christmas," Barkley said.
Even so, Barkley wasn't going to give the game to the visitors.
"We didn't want to play, but we wanted to get the win," he said.
Barkley played only 29 minutes of the holiday game, but managed to fill his customary role of leading scorer.
The power forward of the Philadelphia 76ers played 20 minutes in the first half, scored 25 points, grabbed 12 rebounds. Barkley left with four personal fouls and 2:39 remaining in the third period. He didn't return.
But Mike Gminski with 24 points, Gerald Henderson with a season-high 20 and 19 from Ron Anderson picked up the slack as the 76ers won for only the third time in eight games.
Philadelphia set a club record with eight 3-pointers.
Gminski shot 10 for 15 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds.
"He's quietly getting it done," Coach Jim Lynam of the 76ers said of Gminski. "He takes a lot of pressure off Charles. I think that early in the season he was a little hesitant, but now the shots are falling for him."
Gminski said he and Barkley have been complementing each other lately.
"I feel comfortable sharing the ball. We've been working well together. They've been making a concentrated effort to double team him, so I've been open around the foul line," Gminski said.
Barkley jested about the club record for 3-pointers, bettering the seven made last week against Dallas.
"My teammates figure if I can hit one, anyone can," he said. "So, they've been making them."> Barkley was 2-for-3 from 3-point land, while Henderson made three of five, Scott Brooks both of his and Hersey Hawkins was 1-for-2.
"We've been looking to spread the court and shoot the three when it's there," Lynam said.> Barkley scored 21 points in the first period, tying a 76ers record set by Julius Erving in 1979 against Chicago. He had four points in the second quarter and was scoreless in the third. He shot 8-for-8 from the field and took down six rebounds in the opening period as the 76ers built a 41-29 lead. The closest the Bullets got after that was seven.
"When a team scores 70 points in the first half, it ain't nothing to be happy about," Bullets coach Wes Unseld said. "The effort by some was there and it makes it tough. In the first half, we didn't play Barkley at all."
The Sixers led at halftime, 71-55 and 93-77 after three quarters.
Jeff Malone's 21 points and 19 from Bernard King were high for the Bullets, who lost for the ninth time in the last 11.