NEW YORK, DEC. 25 -- One wild leap by Isiah Thomas and one mad dash downcourt by Bill Laimbeer helped the Detroit Pistons overcome 48 minutes of atrocious shooting.
Laimbeer blocked a layup and Thomas raced into the stands to save the loose ball, setting up a winning jump shot by Joe Dumars with 29 seconds left today and rallying the Pistons past the New York Knicks, 91-87.
Detroit won its ninth straight game despite shooting 43 percent from the field and 47 percent, 14 of 30, from the line.
"I never gave up on the ball," Thomas said of his save. "I knew I had a chance at it, and it was instinct to throw the ball toward half court. As it turned out, it was one of the biggest plays of the game."
With the score 85-85 and 56 seconds remaining, New York's Kenny Walker stole Dumars' pass and took off on a two-on-one break with Mark Jackson.
Laimbeer raced downcourt to block Jackson's shot from behind. As the ball headed out of bounds, Thomas jumped into the stands and hurled the ball to Dennis Rodman.
The Knicks, up by 14 points in the third quarter, failed to capitalize on their 85-83 lead with 1:51 remaining when Patrick Ewing missed a pair of free throws. Laimbeer's two foul shots tied it.
After Dumars' basket, Vinnie Johnson missed two foul shots. Following an offensive rebound, Detroit's John Salley sank a pair of free throws to make it 89-85. Jackson scored on a drive to draw New York to 89-87 with six seconds to go. Laimbeer then made two free throws -- giving him 39 in a row.
The Pistons played without leading scorer Adrian Dantley, who was serving a one-game suspension.
For New York, Ewing scored 28 points and Gerald Wilkins had 15.
Hawks 106, 76ers 100:
Dominique Wilkins scored 45 points, 33 in the second half, as the Atlanta Hawks came back from a 17-point first-half deficit in Philadelphia.
Atlanta played without starter Kevin Willis, who missed his third straight game with an injured right knee, and Antoine Carr, who was to start in place of Willis.
Carr shattered a backboard with a slam dunk during pregame warmups and was suspended for the game under NBA rules. The start of the game was delayed one hour to replace the backboard.
Wilkins scored 18 points in the third period, and got Atlanta's first six points in the fourth quarter, leading the Hawks to a 92-84 advantage with 5:13 remaining. The 76ers then scored 10 of the game's next 14 points to cut the Hawks lead to 96-94 with 1:50 to go.
But Wilkins scored on a layup with 1:33 remaining and two free throws by John Koncak 15 seconds later sealed the victory.