The Atlanta Hawks were back in action after All-Star break against the Detroit Pistons. The last time the Pistons were in action was against the Boston Celtics, where they took a 118-110 loss. They’re trying to stay in the playoff race through the end of the season. Detroit is currently eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. Blake Griffin is having one of his best seasons, and he along with Andre Drummond will be relied on heavily to keep the Pistons competitive. The Hawks left the break off with a loss against the New York Knicks, who before that game had lost 18 straight. The last time the Pistons and Hawks faced off, Detroit won 124-109.
First half success
The Hawks were in a groove in the first half of the game. They shot 57 percent from three, and had built a good lead against the Pistons. Trae Young was the anchor of the half with 20 points and six assists. The Pistons weren’t playing aggressively on Young, which allowed him to get almost whatever he wanted at the beginning of the game. When Young is able to get going on the offensive side, it opens up his teammates to get open as well. He made some nice passes to get them easy points. The Hawks eventually let go of the gas late in the second quarter, and the Pistons cut the lead down to two.
A struggle in the third
Whatever the Hawks were doing at the end of the second quarter carried over in the third quarter. They started off cold, while the Pistons were getting anything they wanted on the perimeter and paint. Drummond and Griffin got things rolling for the Pistons, and Atlanta didn’t have an answer. At one point in the quarter the Hawks had only eight points and seven turnovers, which is not a recipe for success. Things started getting chippy towards the end of the quarter. Griffin received two technical fouls and was ejected for the game. That was a good thing for the Hawks, and slowly started to make a run down the stretch.
A battle to the end
Big shots from Vince Carter and DeAndre’ Bembry helped the Hawks get back in the game and take a one-point lead early in the fourth. From there it was a back and forth contest, with neither team really gaining a safe lead. Young turned it on for a stretch, and gave the Hawks a five-point lead, but Drummond and Reggie Jackson made some big plays to get them back in the lead. Young had an opportunity to take the lead and tie the game, but he missed both shots.
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