Pistons beat Hawks to end 3-game skid

Detroit Pistons, Stanley Johnson
Detroit Pistons forward Stanley Johnson (7) drives on Atlanta Hawks guard Tyler Dorsey (2) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.

DETROIT (AP) — Ish Smith had 22 points and nine assists, Blake Griffin narrowly missed a triple-double and the Detroit Pistons ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Atlanta Hawks 104-98 on Wednesday night.

Griffin finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, while Andre Drummond added 13 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit, which had seven players in double figures.

Andrew White III had 15 points for the Hawks in his NBA debut, while John Collins had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Hawks, who beat the Pistons 118-115 on Sunday, were missing three key players, including leading scorers Dennis Schroder (lower back) and Kent Bazemore (rest). Former Piston Ersan Ilyasova (shoulder) also sat out.

Detroit led by 12 points at the half, then started the third quarter with its second 17-2 run of the game. That put the Pistons ahead by 25, and the margin was 30 before the Hawks finally broke 40 points with 5:20 left in the third.

Detroit still led 82-61 at quarter’s end, but Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy called a timeout after the Hawks cut the margin to 89-74 with 6:58 to play. Atlanta got the lead to single figures, 94-86, with 2:58 left, forcing another timeout. The Pistons fouled two 3-point shots in the final minute along with allowing a three-point play, much to Van Gundy’s disgust.

That made it 100-96 with 10 seconds to play, but Smith hit two free throws to clinch the game.

The undermanned Hawks got off to a quick lead, but Detroit finished the first quarter on a 17-2 run to lead 22-14. The offenses continued to struggle in the second, with the Pistons outscoring Atlanta 23-19 to take a 45-33 lead at the half.

Detroit shot 38 percent in the half, led by 12 points from Smith, and held Atlanta to 33.3 percent. Dewayne Dedmon led the Hawks with eight points and seven rebounds in the half, but didn’t have a basket or a rebound in 11 second-half minutes.

TIP-INS

Hawks: Atlanta missed 20 of its first 22 3-pointers. . Taurean Prince has started all 59 of Atlanta’s games, but the other four starters — Dedmon, John Collins, Tyler Dorsey and Malcolm Delaney — had 29 starts combined before Wednesday.

Pistons: Detroit is now 5-3 with Griffin in the lineup. . Drummond led the Pistons in rebounds for the 19th straight game.

UP NEXT

Hawks: Host the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 23 after an eight-day All-Star break.

Pistons: Host the Boston Celtics on Feb. 23 after an eight-day All-Star break.