(Sports Network) - A season-high three-game winning streak will be on the line
Friday night for the Detroit Pistons as they resume a five-game homestand
versus the Atlanta Hawks.
The Pistons recently lost to the Hawks and dropped a 126-119 double-overtime
decision down south on Dec. 26. Detroit is winless in three straight, six of
seven and nine of the last 12 meetings with Atlanta, which hasn't fared so
well at The Palace of Auburn Hills lately, losing 11 of 14 contests there.
Detroit is 5-1 in its last six games overall and squeezed out a 103-97 victory
over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday courtesy of Brandon Knight's 20 points.
Greg Monroe had 18 and 11 rebounds, while Will Bynum scored 15 off the bench.
"This was a big win because we had a tough schedule at the beginning of the
season," said Bynum, who needs 11 assists for 800 in his career. "We were on
the road a lot and lost a bunch of close games, but now that we have a home
stretch we have to win these games."
The Pistons, who led by a game-high 16 points (89-73), shot 52 percent for the
game and had a 44-37 advantage on the glass. Andre Drummond contributed 11
rebounds in the win, Detroit's fourth in a row as the host. The homestand will
commence Sunday versus the Charlotte Bobcats.
Drummond has recorded 10-plus rebounds in five of his last six games.
Detroit's Charlie Villanueva was ejected with four seconds left in the second
quarter after getting called for a flagrant foul on a hard forearm to the
upper body of Isaiah Thomas. Villanueva was fined $25,000 for the penalty.
On the injury front for the Pistons, guard Rodney Stuckey is probable against
the Hawks with a sprained left ankle. He is averaging 12.1 ppg.
Atlanta has won five of its last six games and is in the midst of playing
three straight and seven of nine games away from Philips Arena.
The Hawks rebounded from a loss at Houston to dispose of the New Orleans
Hornets, 95-86, Tuesday night. Josh Smith led the way with 23 points, 13
rebounds, seven assists, four blocked shots and three steals. Al Horford
posted 20 points for Atlanta, which shot 49.4 percent from the floor and used
a 15-2 run in the second half to pull away.
"I thought Josh Smith really set the tone in the second half," Hawks coach
Larry Drew said. "He was absolutely phenomenal, every physical play where the
ball was involved he was there. He did it on both ends of the floor."
Smith posted the 5,000th rebound in his career and has swatted 13 shots in his
last three games played. He is sixth in the NBA with 2.32 bpg. Hawks guard Lou
Williams had scored 21 points in two straight games, but was held to nine
against the Hornets. He has started the last six games.
"Lou has done a phenomenal job since I've inserted him in the starting
lineup," Drew said. "He's a guy that could score. He gives up a little size at
his position but he plays big. I will stay with that. It's been working for us
so there's no need to change it."
Drew was just named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month.
Atlanta committed a season-low seven turnovers and pushed its record to 7-1
this season in the second game of a back-to-back.
The Sports Network