Wikens 24 in 3rd quarter leave Bullets defenseless

November 27, 1993|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

ATLANTA -- Everyone knows about the streaking Seattle SuperSonics and Houston Rockets, but the Washington Bullets can attest that the Atlanta Hawks also are one of the league's hot teams.

The Hawks got 37 points from Dominique Wilkins and 25 from guard Stacey Augmon to lead Atlanta to a 124-108 victory last night at The Omni.

In winning their seventh straight game, the Hawks improved to 7-4, the team's best start since going 10-2 at the start of the 1986-87 season. Atlanta's defense has been getting the job done, with none of the Hawks' last nine opponents scoring more than 100 points.

Washington, which lost its second straight, was the first team to score 100 points on Atlanta in the past 10 games. But the Bullets were hurt badly on the boards, where the Hawks had a 46-27 advantage.

Atlanta also got help off the bench, with center Andrew Lang scoring a season-high 17 and Craig Ehlo 13.

Rex Chapman scored 30 and Michael Adams 23 to lead the Bullets.

It appeared the Bullets were out of the game when they trailed 96-76 going into the fourth quarter. But Washington began chipping away, and after a 8-0 run capped by Adams' jump shot, the Bullets were within 105-98 with 6:12 left.

But Wilkins, who was on the bench during most of the Bullets' run, came back and scored five points during an 8-0 run that increased Atlanta's lead to 113-98.

Again, the Bullets scored seven straight to cut it to 113-105 with 3:16 left. But Kevin Willis hit a jumper and Wilkins rebounded a missed shot and scored on a reverse dunk for a 115-105 lead that put the game away.

The Bullets were within 54-52 at halftime. But then Wilkins, who was quiet in the first half when he took just six shots, began to take over.

After the teams exchanged baskets in the opening minute of the third quarter, Wilkins put on a show. He hit three-point shots at the beginning and end of a 12-0 Atlanta run -- and also had a jumper in between-- that gave the Hawks a 68-54 lead with 8:38 left in the third quarter.

Wilkins ended up with 24 points in the quarter, just below his 24.2 average going into the game. He hit nine of 11 shots over the 12 minutes, the last coming on a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer that gave the Hawks their 20-point lead going into the final period.

That third quarter was far different from the start of the game, when the lead changed seven times during the first four minutes. But Atlanta went on a 10-2 run that, after a tip by Willis, gave the Hawks their biggest first-half lead, 19-12, with 4:58 left in the quarter.

Washington went to the three-point shot to get back in the game. At one point the Bullets hit three in a row, all part of a 19-4 run that after a free throw by Kenny Walker with 37.3 seconds gave Washington its biggest lead of the half, 33-23.

It was a record-breaking first quarter for Adams, who had seven steals -- tying a first-half team record set by John Lucas against the Phoenix Suns in 1981. It was the second most steals in a quarter inNBA history. Adams also scored nine points in the quarter.

Mookie Blaylock, the league's leader in steals, was victimized three times by Adams. All five of Blaylock's first-half turnovers came in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Bullets increased their lead to 41-32, but Atlanta then scored seven straight points -- four by Lang -- to pull to within 41-39.

Adams responded with Washington's fourth three-pointer of the half to increase the lead to 44-39. But Lang's hook started started the Hawks on a 13-4 run that, after the 6-foot-11 reserve scored on a layup, with 1:40 left gave Atlanta a 52-48 lead. The Hawks, who shot 54.5 percent in the first half, had a 54-52 halftime lead.

Lang and Augmon each scored 13 first-half points to lead Atlanta, which out-rebounded Washington 23-16 -- with eight coming on the offensive boards.

Adams' 14 points and 13 by Chapman led the Bullets, who shot 47.6 percent in the half.

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