NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Atlanta
(Saturday, March 7th)
Final Score: Atlanta 87, Detroit 83
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Josh Smith and Al Horford scored 19 and 18, respectively, with each player posting 12 rebounds, to lead the Atlanta Hawks in an 87-83 victory over the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena.
Mike Bibby chipped in 17 points for the Hawks, who snapped a two-game slide but are still just 3-6 over their last nine. Joe Johnson and Flip Murray ended with 12 points each as the Hawks won all three meetings with Detroit this season, sweeping the series from the Pistons for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign.
Richard Hamilton totaled 20 points for the Pistons, who saw their four-game winning streak become history. Rodney Stuckey donated 19 points, eight boards and six helpers in the setback, while Rasheed Wallace gave 14 points and eight boards.
With the game tied late, Horford had a dunk and Murray nailed a jumper to make it 82-78, but Wallace posted a free throw to cut it to 82-79 with 1:59 left.
Smith then hit 1-of-2 free throws before Hamilton was called for traveling on the Pistons' next possession.
Smith hit a jumper for a six-point Atlanta lead, but Hamilton nailed a three to make it 85-81 with 52.4 seconds showing.
Off a Wallace missed three-pointer, Antonio McDyess had a tip-in to cut it to 85-83 with 8.5 ticks remaining.
Johnson was then fouled by Stuckey with 7.5 seconds left and hit both shots for an 87-83 cushion.
Murray had a steal on Detroit's ensuing inbounds pass to thwart any ideas the Pistons had of a comeback.
"We played well but I thought down the stretch we made some careless mistakes," said Hamilton. "It kind of put our backs against the wall. For the most part I thought we defended well and guarded the ball."
The Pistons led 26-19 after the first quarter and had a 43-41 advantage at the half.
Two free throws from McDyess, a Hamilton three and a Stuckey jumper gave the visitors a 50-43 lead with 9:32 left in the third. A basket each from Horford and Smith knotted the game at 57 with about 4 1/2 minutes left. The teams traded baskets and Atlanta was on top 63-60 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Bibby's jumper and Smith's two free throws gave the Hawks a 67-60 lead early in the fourth.
"I think we had to refocus as a team," said Smith. "Three games on the road we should have won we lost. We wanted to bounce back at home, we have some tough games coming up."
Four points from Stuckey cut it to four points for Detroit, but Horford answered with a jumper and Johnson drained a three to make it 77-68 with about seven minutes left.
Moments later, Hamilton poured in eight straight points, capped with a three- pointer, to knot the game up at 78 with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
McDyess had 12 rebounds...Detroit fell to 15-15 away from the Motor City this season...The Hawks opened a seven-game homestand Saturday and will also see the Hornets, Jazz, Pacers, Blazers, Kings and Mavericks. The club is a solid 21-7 as the host in 2008-09...Atlanta went 3-0 against Detroit this season, but the Pistons have won 30 of the past 40 matchups.
03/07 22:43:39 ET