Final Score: Detroit 102, Atlanta 95
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - After two straight wins, the playoff-hopeful Atlanta Hawks tripped up and dropped a 102-95 home decision to the short- handed Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.
The Hawks, who entered the contest two games up on the idle Knicks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, trailed for most of the contest and lost to the slumping Pistons despite former Atlanta All- Star forward Josh Smith sitting out. Smith missed the tilt with knee tendinitis.
Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe recorded double-doubles in Smith's absence, while Rodney Stuckey took advantage of a rare start and poured in a game-high 29 points. Drummond went for 19 points and 17 rebounds and Monroe had 21 points and 13 boards.
"I thought right from the opening tip we had the right intent," said Pistons interim head coach John Loyer.
The Pistons, who are 20 games below .500, won on the road for just the 12th time this season.
Paul Millsap led five Hawks in double figures with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague posted 15 points and nine assists and Kyle Korver hit four 3- pointers, including the 1,500th of his career, en route to 12 points.
"We didn't come out with the intensity that we should have," said Korver.
Drummond's steal and transition slam gave Detroit a 67-57 lead midway through the third when the Hawks made a push. DeMarre Carroll scored four straight on a pair of free throws and layup and then Korver caught fire, hitting two 3- pointers to tie it at 67. Carroll had another layup to put the Hawks in front, and Millsap's bucket capped the 14-0 run.
Drummond, who missed four free throws during the Hawks' flurry, tipped in a Brandon Jennings missed layup at 4:50 to end it.
Detroit scored the final six points of the third to take an 81-78 advantage into the final period.
The visitors controlled the early portion of the fourth quarter and stretched the lead to seven points after Peyton Siva's 3-pointer at 4:25, but Pero Antic kept Atlanta within striking distance. The Macedonian center hit a triple and 3-of-4 from the foul line around a short Stuckey jumper to pull the hosts back to within three.
Drummond made it 96-91 with another tip-in and Stuckey sealed the outcome with 6-of-6 from the foul line in the final 27 seconds.
"What tonight looked like to me was a group not trying to hold onto the lead, but a group that was trying to win the game," Loyer added.
The season series ended in a 2-2 draw ... The Pistons won the rebounding margin, 53-48. They have outrebounded the Hawks in eight straight meetings ... Siva scored a career-best 10 points ... Antic had 13 points with nine rebounds in the setback.
04/08 23:00:38 ET
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