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(Wednesday, November 20th)
Final Score: Atlanta 93, Detroit 85
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Hawks welcomed Josh Smith back to Philips Arena by handing his Detroit Pistons a 93-85 loss.
Paul Millsap shook off an elbow injury that forced him to miss Tuesday's loss to the Heat and donated a team-high 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting.
DeMarre Carroll, one of several offseason additions trying to fill the void of Smith's departure in free agency, donated 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Jeff Teague chipped in 18 points and seven assists in the win.
Smith, who played his first nine seasons in Atlanta and received a positive reception in pregame introductions, struggled in his first game there as a visitor, finishing with just 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
"It felt good (being back), but it would have felt even better if we won," Smith said.
Brandon Jennings paced Detroit with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Rodney Stuckey added 18 points before fouling out late in the game.
Stuckey was whistled for his sixth foul on an offensive push-off with 3:30 remaining, and Pistons head coach Maurice Cheeks was hit with his second technical foul less than a minute later.
It was all part of a four-minute swing that saw the Hawks turn a close game into a relatively easy win.
Mike Scott extended Atlanta's 76-74 lead with three-point play, which in turn started a 14-3 flurry that sealed the outcome. Teague hit three jumpers during the run, and Kyle Korver nailed two free throws after Cheeks was ejected to make it a 90-77 Hawks lead with 2 1/2 minutes left.
The closest Detroit got from there was the final score.
"Down the stretch we made some big plays," Millsap said. "It was a good effort."
It was a slow-moving start for both teams, as Atlanta limped to a 15-13 lead after 12 minutes.
Stuckey scored a dozen points in the second quarter to ignite the Pistons, and Jennings' late 3-pointer sent them into the break with a 46-43 lead.
Atlanta held a slight edge in the third, which ended with the hosts on top, 66-64.
Korver went 2-of-3 from the 3-point line and extended his streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer to 84. The all-time NBA mark of 89 belongs to Dana Barros ... The Pistons have dropped 10 in a row in Atlanta ... Pistons center Andre Drummond posted his sixth straight double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds ... These teams play again in Detroit on Friday.
11/20 23:44:30 ET