Hawks-Pistons Preview 1-27-12

(AP) — Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew feels his team regressed a bit in an ugly loss its last time out.

Detroit Pistons coach Lawrence Frank believes his squad took a step forward in its latest game, even though the result was another defeat.

Drew hopes his Hawks can shore up their defense Friday night when they visit a Pistons team trying to build on an encouraging performance.

Atlanta (13-6) begins this season series at the halfway point of a five-game road trip after losing 105-83 to San Antonio on Wednesday. The Hawks never led after the first quarter and got no closer than 15 in the fourth en route to their most lopsided defeat of the season.

Their offense never got in rhythm, finishing with 17 assists and 17 turnovers, while dropping to 0-5 when scoring fewer than 90 points. Joe Johnson, who had averaged 22.6 points in his previous seven games, finished with 10. Josh Smith scored 13 on 6-of-17 shooting and matched a season low with five rebounds.

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