NBA Game Summary - Detroit at Atlanta
(Saturday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Atlanta 91, Detroit 85
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford strengthened his case for Sixth Man of the Year with 29 points and six assists off the bench, and the Atlanta Hawks won their 10th straight home game with a 91-85 victory over the hapless Detroit Pistons.
Crawford drilled six three-pointers for the Hawks, who are now 32-7 at home this season, marking the team's highest win total at home since a 36-5 mark in 1996-97. Al Horford added 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Josh Smith had 13 points, 14 boards and two blocks in the win.
Maurice Evans contributed with 10 points, and Atlanta increased its lead over Boston for the East's third spot to 1 1/2 games. The Hawks won despite playing without leading scorer Joe Johnson (sprained right thumb).
"I understand with Joe being out that everybody would have to step up," Crawford said. "He's our leading scorer, and so much of what we do goes through him. I just tried to be aggressive at certain points where I would think he'd be in the game and I'd be out so there wouldn't be a dropoff."
Rodney Stuckey had 22 points for the Pistons, who have lost 11 straight overall and 11 straight on the road. Tayshaun Prince provided 17 points and seven boards, while Will Bynum had 13 points in defeat.
Jonas Jerebko recorded 11 points and nine boards in the setback.
"We took care of the basketball, and it gives yourself a chance," said Detroit head coach John Kuester about the team's season-low three turnovers. "We had about four or five possessions in the fourth period where we didn't come up with anything. That hurt us. That's a stretch where we really had to have good offense and good execution. We had some good looks; the ball just didn't go in the hole."
The score was tied, 74-74, entering the fourth quarter, and Atlanta began the frame with an 8-0 run to move in front for good.
Crawford hit a pair of threes to end the spurt with a little over eight minutes to go, but Detroit got back to within three at 84-81 on an Austin Daye jumper with 6:20 remaining.
The Pistons then went nearly four minutes without a point, and a pair of Horford free throws with 3:45 left put the hosts ahead by seven. The margin never dipped below four down the stretch.
Atlanta grabbed a 23-21 lead after one quarter, and the Hawks used an 11-2 burst to increase their lead to 11 late in the second quarter. Crawford ended the spurt with two makes from beyond the arc for a 54-43 advantage, and the score was 54-45 at halftime.
Detroit trailed by 12 a bit over four minutes into the third before a 9-0 run got the Pistons back into the game. Four different players accounted for all the points, and Jerebko's two free throws got the visitors to within 66-63.
Jerebko later hit a pair of shots -- one from long distance -- to put the Pistons ahead, 70-69, with 3 1/2 minutes to play, and the score was tied, 74-74, heading to the fourth.
Atlanta leads the season series, 2-1...Detroit is now 2-18 in its last 20 games...Richard Hamilton (ankle) and Jason Maxiell (back) both sat out for the Pistons...The Hawks shot 47.9 percent, while Detroit shot just 37.6 percent...Atlanta won the rebounding battle, 50-34...The Hawks last lost at home on February 26 against Dallas.
04/03 22:10:19 ET