Isiah Thomas has the Detroit Pistons on the run.
Thomas, the Pistons’ fast-moving point guard, scored 18 of his 26 points in the first quarter Tuesday night at Atlanta to help the Pistons build a big lead on their way to a 110-95 victory.
The Hawks were returning home after a stunning victory Sunday night over the Lakers at the Forum, but Thomas led the Pistons to a 31-13 lead.
Thomas made his first six shots and the Pistons, the best road club in the National Basketball Assn., made 13 of their first 16 shots.
“I think the Pistons have proven four out of five times this season that they are better than us,” Coach Mike Fratello said. “They came in better prepared. They are a better team now.”
It wasn’t until Spud Webb came off the bench that the Hawks showed any life. The 5-foot-7 guard had his biggest night of the season, getting 21 points and making 10 of 11 shots.
All Webb did was make for some excitement. Once he helped cut the lead to six points, but the Pistons pulled away easily.
One of the major reasons for the big loss for the Hawks was the inability of Dominique Wilkins, their leading scorer, to find his shooting touch. Wilkins, 15 for 25 against the Lakers, was three for 18 against the Pistons. He still had 18 points.
The Pistons, who trail Cleveland by a game for both the lead in the Central Division and the best overall record, are 19-13 away from home.
Golden State 151, Portland 127--The Warriors raced to a 50-point fourth quarter at Oakland and breezed to their fourth consecutive victory.
With the Warriors leading by six, Coach Don Nelson was given his second technical with more than four minutes remaining in the third quarter and was ejected.
The lead was only five going into the final quarter, but Chris Mullin made 10 points in a couple of minutes to ignite a blistering offense.
The victory enabled the Warriors to stay tied with Seattle for the fourth-best record in the West. Portland fell to 32-33 and leads Dallas by only a game in the battle for the last playoff spot.
Seattle 101, Utah 96--The SuperSonics welcomed back Coach Bernie Bickerstaff by running up a 19-point advantage at Seattle.
But they blew all but two points of the lead in the fourth quarter. Then, Dale Ellis made two free throws with nine seconds left to clinch the victory.
Bickerstaff missed six games because of a bleeding ulcer.
Ellis, who scored 31 points, was one for 12 from the field in the second half.
Milwaukee 98, Boston 86--The Celtics aren’t exactly the worst road team, but they don’t play well away from Boston Garden.
With Terry Cummings getting 13 of his 21 points in the third quarter at Milwaukee to put the Bucks ahead to stay, they handed the Celtics their 24th loss in 32 road games.
Two Cummings baskets and another by Ricky Pierce gave the Bucks a four-point lead after three quarters and the Celtics never caught up again.
Denver 112, Houston 110--The Nuggets are an even worse road team than the Celtics, but they pulled out a big one at Houston.
Alex English scored 29 of his 37 points in the second half and Michael Adams made two three-point baskets in the closing minutes to lead Denver to its seventh victory in 32 road games.
It was the Nuggets’ fourth consecutive victory, and put them a half-game behind the Rockets in the battle for second place in the Midwest Division.
The Rockets’ loss came despite Akeem Olajuwon’s 36 points.
Indiana 92, New Jersey 89--Detlef Schrempf’s off-balance jumper with 53 seconds left was the decisive score as the Pacers handed the Nets their eighth consecutive loss.
It was only the Pacers’ fifth victory in 34 games.