By NOAH TRISTER/AP Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Jeff Teague scored 14 of his 18 points in the third quarter, then helped the Atlanta Hawks hold on with a spectacular blocked shot in the final minutes of a 96-89 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
Detroit trailed 92-89 when Brandon Jennings appeared to have a clean breakaway for an easy layup. The 6-foot-2 Teague recovered and came leaping from behind to block the shot at the last instant. Then he threw an alley-oop to Al Horford at the other end.
Josh Smith, who signed a $54 million, four-year deal with Detroit in the offseason after nine seasons with the Hawks, was left out of the starting lineup for the first time this season. He went scoreless in 20 minutes.
It was Smith’s first scoreless game since December 2004, when he was a rookie.
Detroit was up 14-12 when Smith came in with 5:47 to go in the first quarter. Atlanta went on a 15-4 run and led by as many as 11 in the half.
The Pistons caught a break in the final seconds of the second quarter when Kyle Singler was fouled shooting a 3-pointer. He made the first two free throws, and when he missed the third, Greg Monroe rebounded and made a layup. The four-point possession meant Detroit trailed only 49-44 at halftime.
The Pistons took a 52-51 lead early in the third, but Teague started a 9-2 Atlanta run with a three-point play.
Horford scored 17 points for the Hawks, who also beat the Pistons in Atlanta on Wednesday.
Smith shot 0 for 7 from the field and Jennings was 4 for 16. Jennings did have 14 assists, but he struggled to defend Teague in the third quarter.
Andre Drummond had 15 points and 16 rebounds for Detroit, and Singler added 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
The Pistons led 87-86 after a 6-0 run in the fourth, but DeMarre Carroll scored inside for Atlanta while being knocked to the floor. He missed the ensuing free throw, but the Hawks came up with the rebound and Horford eventually added a free throw to make it 89-87.
Carroll added a free throw to push the lead to five.
NOTES: Detroit was again without Chauncey Billups (knee tendinitis) and Will Bynum (left hamstring). … Atlanta’s Kyle Korver made four 3-pointers, extending his streak to 86 games with at least one. Dana Barros holds the NBA record of 89.
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