NBA Game Summary - Atlanta at Detroit
(Friday, December 10th)
Final Score: Atlanta 88, Detroit 72
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Peja Drobnjak and Tony Delk each scored 16 points off the bench to lead a balanced Atlanta attack in a surprising 88-72 win over the defending champion Detroit Pistons at the Palace.
Al Harrington added 15 points for Atlanta, which had five players score in double-digits and on for the second time in three games. Antoine Walker added 13 points and nine boards, as the Hawks captured just their second road win and improved to 4-15 this season.
Rookie Josh Smith rounded out the double-figure scorers with a career-high 12 points and had four blocks in his first career start.
Detroit, which played without forward Rasheed Wallace, suffered its second disappointing early-season setback. The team was defeated by Charlotte on November 23 to become the first defending champion in 34 seasons to lose to an expansion team, and now has lost at home to the Hawks.
Wallace was scratched from the lineup with a right hamstring injury. Ben Wallace moved to the forward spot to begin the game and Elden Campbell started at center, scoring just four points and grabbing three rebounds. Ben Wallace had only seven points and 12 boards.
Richard Hamilton tallied a game-high 24 points for the Pistons, who tied a franchise record for fewest points at home and hit their fewest field goals this season with 23. The team's 30.7 percent shooting was also a season worst.
"We think we can just go out and play any way, take any shot and everything's going to be OK," Detroit head coach Larry Brown said. "You get exposed when you don't have your big guys to bail you out."
Detroit led early on 12-10, but the Hawks went on a 16-4 run to take the lead and begin to pull away. A Walker basket gave Atlanta a 14-12 lead it would never relinquish the rest of the way. Delk's three-pointer ended the run and the Hawks cruised into the second with a 32-20 cushion.
In the second, Atlanta extended to a 39-24 advantage two minutes in thanks to a three-point play by Walker and later went ahead 47-28 on a Peja Drobnjak bucket with a little more than half the quarter remaining. From there, the Hawks cruised into the break ahead 56-38.
Atlanta continued to pour it on in the third quarter, busting out a 13-2 run to start the stanza. Smith hit one of two free throws to end the run, giving the Hawks their largest cushion of the contest at 69-40.
Detroit had problems getting closer than 16 points the rest of the way. The Pistons were down 74-54 after three and could draw within only 76-60 early in the fourth and a meaningless layup by Tayshaun Prince in the final seconds provided the final 16-point margin.
Prince ended with 14 points for the Pistons, who had a three-game winning streak halted.
Thanks to Delk and Drobnjak combining for 32 points, Atlanta's bench outscored Detroit's 38-15.
Atlanta head coach Mike Woodson used to serve as an assistant under Brown last season.
"It is tough coaching against Larry, because he has meant so much to my career, and I know he hates coaching against his old assistants," Woodson said. "But this was a great win for us."
Detroit has scored just 74 points at home three other times, with the last coming on December 12, 2003...Detroit's Darko Milicic registered a career-high 24 minutes played...Kenny Anderson did not start for the first time this season for the Hawks.
12/11 00:45:40 ET