Dominique’s Greatest Moments - 3
Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, as you may have heard. We here at Hawks.com cannot get enough of Nique, and are constantly scouring the internet for video of his days as the Human Highlight Film. On December 1st, the Hawks will be honoring Dominique as part of Hardwood Classic Nights, with the team wearing throwback uniforms representing the 1986 season.
To get ready for the festivities, Hawks.com is counting down the 21
greatest moments of Wilkins' career. Check back daily as we update the countdown
every weekday leading up to the Dec. 1 match-up with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
April 19, 1986: Nique scores 50 points in a 135-127 playoff win over the Detroit Pistons.
When people think about Dominique and the NBA playoffs, the mind immediately jumps to his duel with Larry Bird in 1988. And though that performance may have defined Wilkins' career, it wasn't the only (and perhaps not his most spectacular) great postseason start on his resume.
In 1986, with the Hawks leading 1-0 in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs over the Detroit Pistons, Nique poured in a career-playoff high 50 points (at the time the ninth-highest total by anyone in playoff history) in an eight-point Hawks win, giving the team a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Dominique started slowly, but hit five-of-six in the second and seven-of-nine in the third on the way to a 19-28 shooting night, compensating for a 9-26 night in the previous game. The scoring barrage was the first time someone scored 50 in a playoff game since Bob McAdoo had 50 in 1975.
former teammate of Wilkins, current Head Coach of Boston Celtics
"I remember that game very well. Dominique and Randy Wittman (who had a career-best 35) were both unstoppable for us. I was just bringing the ball up the court every time and just looking for the two of them as much as possible. Kelly Tripucka was the one in charge of guarding Wilkins, and Dominique was just abusing him. He was scoring from all over the court."
"Wilkins was just unstoppable. There was one play where we had three people on him, and he still got it down."