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Friday, February 21st (All times Eastern)
Atlanta Hawks (25-28) at Detroit Pistons (22-32), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Both the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons are struggling badly, but something will have to give Friday night when the two teams clash at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Hawks have dropped seven straight and haven't won since the first of the month. They've fallen from third in the Eastern Conference to seventh and are only one game ahead of the eighth-ranked Charlotte Bobcats.
The Pistons have lost three in a row and two straight in Detroit. That home losing streak is tough to understand since the Pistons won three consecutive at The Palace prior to the rut.
Atlanta has opened the post-break portion of its schedule horrendously. The Hawks started with a 10-point loss in Indiana on Tuesday, but followed that with a 17-point home loss to the Washington Wizards.
Paul Millsap and Elton Brand scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, with both grabbing 11 boards in the setback. Jeff Teague had 16 points before leaving late in the contest with a sprained left ankle, while Kyle Korver extended his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 122.
The Hawks were without forward DeMarre Carroll (hamstring) and center Gustavo Ayon (shoulder).
"We were a little short-handed," said Brand. "We're trying to find a way to win. Things aren't going our way right now. We have to find a way to make it go our way."
The Hawks made a small deadline deal Thursday, acquiring veteran forward Antawn Jamison from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol.
The Pistons had a three-game winning streak snapped prior to the All-Star break, but since the stoppage, Detroit lost both ends of a home-and-home series to the Charlotte Bobcats.
On Wednesday, the Pistons got thumped in Charlotte, 116-98.
Brandon Jennings scored 20 points, Rodney Stuckey scored 15 and Josh Smith and Will Bynum chipped in 14 points apiece for the Pistons, who fell 2 1/2 games behind the Bobcats for the eighth spot in the East.
Greg Monroe had 13 points and seven rebounds and Andre Drummond, who tied a career-high with 21 rebounds on Tuesday, was limited to just eight points and six boards in the setback.
"This (loss) was frustrating, but it's not anything that's affecting the way we're playing," Monroe said.
The Hawks have won both of this season's matchups with the Pistons, including one in Detroit on Nov. 22. Atlanta has won six of seven meetings with the Pistons and nine of its last 11.
02/21 10:21:54 ET
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