ATLANTA (AP) — Paul Millsap scored 26 points and Kyle Korver added a season-high 22 on Friday night to lead Atlanta to a 105-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons, helping the Hawks forget about the first time these teams met here four weeks ago.
Detroit walloped Atlanta 121-85 on Dec. 2 in Philips Arena, but after Korver made three consecutive free throws to open the second quarter and break a 19-all tie, the Hawks never again trailed nor were even tied.
Dwight Howard had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Hawks, who have won consecutive games for just the second time since Nov. 15-16 against Miami and Milwaukee, the last two games of their 9-2 start.
Jon Leuer led the Pistons with a career-high 22 points to continue a scoring binge in his fourth start, Reggie Jackson tied his season high with 20, and center Andre Drummond put up his 22nd double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Detroit has lost seven of eight games, the Pistons’ only win in that span coming Monday over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Atlanta built a 51-41 lead, and it grew the lead to 17 points in the third quarter as Dennis Schroder, Korver and Millsap made 3-pointers.
The Pistons closed the deficit to 74-62 by the end of the third quarter, and made three runs in the fourth.
Jackson’s layup with 4:17 to go shrank Atlanta’s lead to 92-88, but Howard scored seconds later on a one-handed dunk of an alley-oop pass from Schroder. Fouled on the play by Leuer, Howard added the free throw for a seven-point lead.
Detroit came no closer than five points from there.
Korver’s final points came from the free throw line, where he made two of three with 1:02 left in the game for a 101-93 lead.
Pistons: Starting F Marcus Morris, Detroit’s fourth-leading scorer (13.1), did not play because of a sore left knee. Tobias Harris started instead. … After missing their first 11 3-point attempts, the Pistons made two in a row and finished 9 of 31 from beyond the arc. … Leuer, who entered the game averaging a career-high 11.1 points, has averaged 18.7 over the past three games.
Hawks: In scoring 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting, Millsap broke out of a shooting slump in which he made 11 of 48 over the previous three games. He had six rebounds and five assists. … Schroder had 17 points and seven assists. … Reserve PG Malcolm Delaney had seven assists.
Pistons: After a Sunday meeting with the Heat in Miami, whom the Pistons have already beaten once, Detroit will return home for games Tuesday against the Pacers and Thursday against the Hornets.
Hawks: The season’s first meeting with the Spurs is on tap for Sunday, at home, before Atlanta will play four consecutive road games.
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