The game started late and so did Dominique Wilkins, but the Atlanta star got going after a two-point first quarter and went on to score 45 points as the Hawks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 106-100, Friday night at Philadelphia.
"We didn't play at all in the first quarter," Wilkins said. "We were really bad. Then we started to play good team defense."
Wilkins scored 33 points in the second half, sparking Atlanta on a comeback that erased a 17-point first-half deficit.
The start of the game was delayed one hour after Antoine Carr shattered a backboard with a ferocious slam dunk during pregame warmups. Carr was suspended for the game under NBA rules.
"It was a basic gorilla dunk," Carr said. "When I slammed the ball, I heard a strange noise and the next thing I knew, the basket shattered."
Atlanta played without starter Kevin Willis, who missed his third straight game with an injured right knee, and Carr, who was to start in place of Willis.
"We had a lot of loose ends in the beginning. Then we tied things together," Atlanta Coach Mike Fratello said. "During the second quarter we got our offense and defense together and started passing the ball the right way."
Detroit 91, New York 87--Playing at noon on Christmas Day was a drag for the Detroit Pistons. At halftime, though, they decided to have some fun and rallied for their ninth straight victory at New York.
"We weren't in the Christmas spirit," Bill Laimbeer of the Pistons said. "We weren't having much fun out there. We were tense. We were running around in circles and not playing our game.
"We just said to ourselves at halftime, 'Let's go have some fun.' And that's when things changed."
Isiah Thomas and John Salley led the Pistons with 21 points each and Joe Dumars added 19. Laimbeer had a season-high 16 rebounds and scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half.