Piston rout Hawks, snap 7-game skid
ATLANTA -- The Detroit Pistons used a near triple-double by Andre Drummond and some improved 3-point shooting to snap their seven-game losing streak Thursday night.
Drummond had 19 rebounds to go with 12 points and nine assists, and the Pistons made 13 of 30 shots from behind the arc in a 105-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
“It’s a little less burdensome now,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said of ending a long losing streak that had covered the first two weeks of December. “Maybe we just get back to playing basketball.”
Tobias Harris had 19 points for the Pistons (15-13), Avery Bradley scored 18 and Langston Galloway contributed 17 off the bench, making 5 of 8 3-point attempts.
“I thought we were pretty good defensively after the first quarter and we were good offensively all night,” said Van Gundy, whose team started the season 10-3. “We played well. I thought our pace and ball movement was good and, then when we got shots, we made them, which always helps.”
Drummond, who leads the NBA with nearly 16 rebounds per game, came up one assist short of his first career triple-double.
“I did know the situation,” Van Gundy said.
That wasn’t why he kept his starters in the game until the final two minutes, though, despite leading by as many as 24 points.
“I was just making sure we got the win. I wasn’t messing around with that game even a little,” Van Gundy said. “It’s been two weeks of hell. We were going to make sure we got this one.”
Drummond wasn’t complaining about missing the triple-double by one assist.
“Call me ‘Santa Dre.’ I‘m handing out gifts,” said the 6-foot-11 center. “I‘m just trying to move the ball around and get my teammates in the right position to score. When they get cut off, they’re able to pass the ball back to me to finish the play.”
Ersan Ilyasova led the Hawks (6-22) with 23 points, 12 of them coming in the first quarter. He made 10 of 14 shots.
The Hawks missed just three of their first 12 shots, going 4 of 5 from behind the 3-point arc, and led 23-15 seven minutes into the game before the Pistons got going.
Detroit pulled within 31-30 at the first break and then outscored the Hawks 29-15 in the second quarter to go up 59-46 at halftime.
The Pistons were 9 of 14 from behind the arc in the first half and closed on a 12-1 run.
“We started off good, but for some reason we always come out flat in the second and third quarters,” Ilyasova said. “We have to do a better job.”
Bradley scored nine of his 11 first-half points in the second quarter, and Drummond had 13 rebounds and six assists by intermission.
Detroit scored the first even points of the second half to go up 66-46 and led 85-64 entering the final quarter.
“The main problem is not offense,” Ilyasova said. “We have to be smarter and more aggressive defensively.”
Rookie John Collins had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Hawks after missing the previous five games because of a left shoulder sprain.
“For his first game back, I‘m really pleased how he played,” coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We’ll keep ramping him up, but it’s great to have him back.”
NOTES: G Dennis Schroder had 10 assists for the Hawks. ... F/C John Collins played 20 minutes and made 7 of 10 shots. ... C Dewayne Dedmon (stress reaction) and F/C Mike Muscala (ankle) remain out for the Hawks. ... Pistons F Anthony Tolliver wore a protective mask after having his nose broken by an errant elbow in the first half of Tuesday’s home loss to Denver. Tolliver made two 3-pointers for six points in 15 minutes. ... Pistons F Jon Leuer (ankle) remains sidelined. ... The Pistons finish their two-game road swing at Indiana on Friday. ... The Hawks play at Memphis on Friday.