Originally created 04/28/97

Hawks fade this time



ATLANTA - There was no fourth quarter fadeout this time for the Detroit Pistons.

After tiring down the stretch in a loss to Atlanta in Game 1, the Pistons dominated the final period Sunday for a 93-80 victory over the Hawks that tied the first-round series 1-1.

Grant Hill scored 25 points and former Hawk Grant Long made a key contribution off the bench with 17 points and six rebounds.

Detroit, which outscored the Hawks 29-15 in the fourth, has a chance to clinch the best-of-5 series on its home court. The next two games will be played at The Palace, beginning with Game 3 on Tuesday night.

Atlanta won the series opener 89-75, wearing down Hill and the Pistons after holding just a three-point lead entering the fourth quarter. The Hawks seemed to be in good shape again Sunday when they led 65-64 after three quarters.

But Detroit took command with a 11-0 run in which they held the Hawks scoreless for nearly five minutes. After Tyrone Corbin's jumper put Atlanta on top 67-66 with 10:51 remaining, the Hawks didn't score again until Dikembe Mutombo hit a hook shot with 5:55 left.

Joe Dumars, who had 12 points, made sure the Hawks didn't rally, hitting three critical shots shown the stretch to give Detroit its first playoff win since May 1, 1992. His final basket, an 18-footer, pushed Detroit to an 84-76 lead with 1:44 remaining that sealed the victory.

For good measure, Long stole an inbounds pass and drove in for a dunk in the face of his ex-teammates.

Mutombo, who scored a career playoff high 26 points in the first game, sat out most of the first quarter after picking up two quick fouls and also was bothered by a strained groin muscle. He had 17 points, but wasn't nearly the factor he was in Game 1 when the Hawks used their size to their advantage.

Steve Smith scored 22 to lead the Hawks, who couldn't overcome a miserable game by Mookie Blaylock. The Atlanta point guard managed only 7 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

The Hawks may have played their final game at the Omni, which will be torn down after the season to make room for a new arena.

NOTES: Heavy rains in Atlanta caused the Omni roof to leak. Patrons in the wet area were shifted to a dry spot. ... Detroit's Joe Dumars cracked a red light behind the backboard that signals the end of a quarter. Dumars was trying to save the ball under the Atlanta basket when he flipped it up behind his back, shattering the light. None of the debris landed on Dumars, but the game was halted for about three minutes while workers swept up. ... Hawks owner Ted Turner made his first appearance of the series, sitting at courtside with wife Jane Fonda. ... The Pistons had lost five straight postseason games.