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Prince lifts Pistons over Hawks

Mar 10, 2012 - 6:15 AM Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Tayshaun Prince scored 17 points and hit the go-ahead shot in the lane with 24.3 seconds left in Detroit's 86-85 victory over Atlanta Friday night.

Greg Monroe tallied 20 points for the Pistons, who also received 19 points and 12 rebounds from Jason Maxiell. Rodney Stuckey contributed 11 points and Jonas Jerebko 10 for Detroit, which shocked the Lakers in overtime on Tuesday.

"We're getting better and better as the season progresses," Jerebko said. "It's too bad we got off to that bad start to the season, but there's not a whole lot you can do about that right now. We just have to keep working hard and keep playing together."

Josh Smith scored 21 to go with seven rebounds for the Hawks, who have lost back-to-back contests after winning three in a row.

Atlanta rallied from a nine-point deficit with under six minutes left and went ahead, 85-84, on Jeff Teague's driving layup, this after Prince missed a pull- up shot and Monroe lost the ball on the floor after coming up with the offensive rebound.

Prince then made amends for his miss by knifing into the lane for the go-ahead bucket. After a timeout, Joe Johnson's three-pointer from the left corner hit off the rim. Smith got the rebound and hit a jumper from the right of the lane, but the ball left his hands after the final buzzer sounded.

Smith had nine points in the opening quarter, helping the Hawks take a 27-24 edge after 12 minutes. Marvin Williams nailed a three-pointer in the closing minute of the second quarter, moving the visitors to a 50-41 halftime lead.

Monroe scored eight in the third, a period in which the Hawks went 2-of-15 from the floor and saw a 25-12 scoring deficit. Included in that was a 12-2 run, which was capped by a pair of Brandon Knight free throws, moving Detroit to a 61-58 lead.

"They had a good third quarter," Smith said. "I think we didn't let them feel us defensively the whole game. They shot a high percentage and whenever you give a team that much of a good chance to make shots you're not going to win that many basketball games."

The Pistons held a 67-62 cushion going to the fourth and led by as many as 12 in the final quarter.

Game Notes

Atlanta is 12-2 when Smith hits the 20-point mark. Smith is now five offensive rebounds short of passing Dikembe Mutombo (1,228) for sixth place on the franchise's career list...The Hawks defeated the Pistons, 107-101, in overtime on Jan. 27 this season behind a 30-point performance from Johnson. Monroe had 22 points and 11 boards in that one for Detroit, which had lost three straight and nine of the previous 12 matchups between the teams. Atlanta hasn't had much success as the guest in this series lately, losing 21 of the past 26 games at The Palace...Johnson ended with 18 points and Williams 16...The Pistons shot 56 percent from the field.