Pistons Hang On, Beat Atlanta 86-85
By NOAH TRISTER/AP Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Tayshaun Prince made a driving left-handed shot with 24.3 seconds remaining, and the Detroit Pistons held on to beat the Atlanta Hawks 86-85 on Friday night.
Detroit wasted a 12-point fourth-quarter lead and trailed by one after Jeff Teague’s layup with 36.6 seconds to play, but Prince answered and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson missed a contested shot from the left corner in the final seconds.
Josh Smith came up with the rebound for the Hawks and sank a fadeaway that was immediately waived off for coming after the buzzer. The call was upheld after a video review.
Greg Monroe scored 20 points and Jason Maxiell added 19 for Detroit. Smith led the Hawks with 21 and Johnson scored 18 in his first game back after missing four with left knee tendinitis.
In late January, the Pistons blew a six-point lead with less than 40 seconds remaining against the Hawks and lost in overtime.
They nearly wasted a terrific defensive performance in the second half Friday, but Prince was able to connect on his shot from about 7 feet in the final minute.
The Hawks made their first nine shots of the game and led 50-41 at halftime after Teague blocked Monroe under the basket to end the second quarter.
The Detroit big man quickly returned the favor in the third, stuffing the 6-foot-2 Teague when the Atlanta guard tried to drive to the basket. The Pistons held Atlanta to 12 points and only two field goals in the quarter and took a 67-62 lead into the fourth.
It was 75-63 after a perimeter shot by Jonas Jerebko, but the Hawks chipped away. Atlanta cut the lead to two on a 3-pointer by Smith, but Maxiell jumped high to dunk home a miss by Prince with one hand, making it 84-80.
Maxiell went 9 of 11 from the field and added 12 rebounds. Monroe was 10 of 14.
With the Pistons clinging to an 84-83 lead, Prince missed. Monroe came up with the ball but quickly lost it, and Teague went the other way for a layup, forcing Detroit to score one more basket for the win.
Prince scored 17 points and Rodney Stuckey had 11 for the Pistons. Jerebko added 10.
Marvin Williams scored 16 points for Atlanta.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)