Horford leads balanced attack, Hawks top PistonsMar 20, 2011 - 9:16 PM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Al Horford led a balanced attack, finishing with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, as the Atlanta Hawks held on for a 104-96 win over the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena.
Josh Smith went for 17 points and nine boards, while Joe Johnson ended with 17 points and eight assists for the Hawks, who had dropped two straight and six of eight games coming into the contest.
"It was real big," Smith said about the Hawks' defense against the Pistons' starters. "Because giving those guys confidence we would be in for a tough night."
Kirk Hinrich hit 3-of-6 from three-point range and netted 15 points to go with six assists in the victory.
Rodney Stuckey had a team-leading 22 points and eight assists off the bench for Detroit, which had a brief two-game winning streak halted and have lost four of its last six overall.
Chris Wilcox added 18 points in a reserve role and Greg Monroe posted a double-double, going for 17 points and 10 rebounds.
"Definitely a tough way to lose, especially with us withholding all their runs," Monroe said. Of course teams are going to make runs, especially at home, especially a good team like this."
Atlanta led by five after three quarters of play and the Pistons got to within three early in the fourth before the Hawks briefly pulled away.
Austin Daye's two at the line made it an 84-81 game nearly 2 1/2 minutes into the final period, but Horford's three-point play closed out an 8-0 run to stretch the hosts advantage to 11 with 7:27 to play.
Detroit, though, continued to hang around and got to within three on a few occasions, with the last being on Stuckey's jumper with 2:02 left.
Smith answered for Atlanta, banking in a short left-handed baby hook shot to put his squad up by 100-95 with 52.1 seconds on the clock and it would hold on down the stretch.
Atlanta held a 21-17 lead after the opening 12 minutes and it continued to play the front-runner throughout the entire second quarter.
Smith's dunk with 1:46 left before the break put the Hawks up by double- digits, 55-45, but a putback by Monroe and Stuckey's three-pointer got the Pistons to within 55-50 heading into the locker room.
Detroit cut a nine-point deficit down to three after Richard Hamilton drained a pair of free throws to make it a 61-58 game with 7:48 left in the third.
However, Hinrich connected on a driving reverse layup to cap a string of eleven straight and put the Hawks in front by 14 with 5:08 remaining, but baskets by Stuckey and Wilcox closed out the scoring and drew Detroit within 79-74 after three.
Marvin Williams chipped in with 13 points for Atlanta, which shot 52.9 percent from the field and 7-of-15 from three-point territory...The Hawks improved to 21-14 at home this season, while the Pistons fell to 7-28 on the road...Atlanta has won three of four meetings with the Pistons this season and is 8-3 in the last 11 matchups between the two clubs. Detroit is winless in its past six trips to Philips Arena...Detroit made 50 percent of its shots and 5-of-15 from beyond the arc.
- DETROIT: 96
Mar 20 4:24 PM
- DETROIT: 74
End of 3rd
Mar 20 3:44 PM
- DETROIT: 50
Mar 20 3:04 PM
- DETROIT: 17
End of 1st
Mar 20 2:32 PM
- DETROIT: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 20 2:12 PM
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