The Atlanta Hawks, for the second straight game, faded in the fourth quarter today and the Philadelphia 76ers, even with Julius Erving on the bench in foul trouble, stormed past them to a 99-92 victory at the Spectrum.
The 76ers now lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal, 2-0.
The third game will be Thursday the 76ers have won only once in two seasons.
The Hawks, despite getting into foul trouble early themselves, held a 78-71 night at the Omni in Atlanta, where lead with 10:31 left in the game. Then the 76ers went on a 15-2 spurt that put the game away.
Darryl Dawkins, who led the 76ers with 22 points, scored 11 in the fourth period, seven in the 15-2 burst.
During that Philadelphia run, Atlanta missed seven of eight shots, twice threw away the ball and missed two free throws.
"We lost the game right there at the 10-minute mark," Coach Hubie Brown said. "The same thing happened to us in the first game of the series Sunday, and it's happened with our first unit in the game. Our second unit has played well all along."
It was not a pretty game, with 71 fouls called, 41 against Atlanta.Both Atlanta centers, Tree Rollins and Steve Hawes, fouled out, as did Philadelphia center-forward Caldwell Jones. Philadelphia converted 41 of 49 free throws and Atlanta made 22 of 33.
Twenty-five fouls were called in the first quarter alone, and by halftime seven Hawks and three 76ers had at least three.
With so many fouls being called, neither side could get settled into its offense and neither was giving up anything without a struggle.
"It's a blue collar series," Philadelphia Coach Billy Cunningham said. "Everyone is really banging."
Neither coach complained about the officiating of Darell Garretson and Mike Mathis.
"All you can ask is that the calls are consistent, and they were," Brown said. "You have two dynamite teams here who are both sound defensively and two of the best shot-blocking teams in the league. So there is a lot of intimidation going on, which means there is a lot body contact. That makes it a tough series to officiate."
Because of the fouls, the Hawks had to scramble most of the game and often used 6-foot-8 Dan Roundfield, one of the top forwards in the NBA, at center.
Rollins fouled out after playing only 14 minutes. His backup, Hawes, lasted only 24 minutes.
Dawkins benefited most from the rough play. He shot 17 free throws and made 14, making good on seven of eight in the last quarter.
Dawkins made but one of eight and was booed Sunday, but even when he started slowly today the sellout crowd of 18,276 continued to applaud.
"Darryl was getting the ball down low and doing something with it," Cunningham said. "That's what turned the game around."
The 76ers also got 43 points from their three top reserves, Bobby Jones scoring 18, Henry Bibby 15 and Steve Mix 10.