AUBURN HILLS (97.1 THE TICKET/AP) – Austin Daye and Greg Monroe combined for 38 points as the Detroit Pistons edged the Atlanta Hawks 85-84 on Friday night.
As heard on 97.1 The Ticket – the Pistons (13-22) dominated the Hawks (20-11) for three quarters leading by a dozen or more points then collapsed in the final minutes but were able to hold on for the win. Daye scored 20 and Monroe added 18 points along with 9 rebounds for Detroit to bring the Pistons their fourth consecutive victory.
Josh Smith posted 20 points for Atlanta, while Al Horford had 18 points and 15 rebounds.
The Hawks, who trailed by as many as 19, had a chance to win in the final seconds, but Andre Drummond blocked Lou Williams’ jumper at the buzzer to preserve the win.
The Pistons have won six of seven overall, with the only loss coming in double overtime at Atlanta. The second unit has powered the surge, outscoring the starters in several games, and the reserves outscored Atlanta’s backups 41-14, led by Daye.
Jason Maxiell had 10 points and 10 boards.
Daye dominated the first half, hitting his first seven shots on the way to 16 points and powering Detroit to a 51-36 lead. Smith had 14 at the break for the Hawks, but Atlanta only shot 36 percent in the half and missed 12 of its 14 3-point attempts.
Smith then picked up his fourth foul in the opening seconds of the third quarter, decreasing his effectiveness at both ends of the floor.
The Hawks got their offense going after halftime, hitting four 3-pointers in the first six minutes of the third, but still struggled to get any stops. Atlanta closed to 66-55, but Maxiell turned Detroit’s 12th offensive rebound into a three-point play and a 14-point advantage.
Detroit struggled down the stretch and Atlanta moved within single digits with five minutes to play. Korver and Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to close a 16-0 surge that trimmed the Pistons’ lead to 83-82 with 3:13 to play.
Rodney Stuckey’s layup ended the run, and Maxiell had a chance to add to the lead, but missed a pair of free throws. The Hawks had multiple chances to hit a tying shot, but couldn’t get any to fall until Horford’s jumper with 5.6 seconds left. It was originally ruled his first 3-pointer of the season, but was changed to a two-pointer after a review.
That left the Pistons with an 85-84 lead, but Tayshaun Prince threw away the ensuing inbounds pass to set up the final play.
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