EditorsNote: Resend with minor tweaks
Veteran Vince Carter came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points and the visiting Atlanta Hawks, playing without their most productive player, defeated the Detroit Pistons 98-95 on Sunday for their third straight win.
The Pistons had a chance to tie the game with 23 seconds left when Blake Griffin missed two free throws. Jeremy Lin grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made two free throws to give Atlanta a 94-91 lead with 21 seconds left.
Detroit’s Reggie Jackson cut the Atlanta lead to one point with a driving dunk with 13.2 seconds left. The Pistons fouled Lin, who made both free throws with 12.5 seconds left, and Kent Bazemore made two free throws with 4.1 seconds left to ice the game.
The Hawks were playing without forward John Collins, who was out with a left ankle sprain. Collins, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, had posted double-doubles in eight of his last nine games.
Without Collins, the Hawks spread their production around, with Carter acting as the primary replacement. Carter, at 41 playing in his 21st season, was 7-for-14 from the field with a season-high seven rebounds.
Atlanta also got 15 points and a season-high 17 rebounds from Alex Len, who got his fourth double-double of the season. Bazemore scored 13, Trae Young had 12 points and six assists, Dewayne Dedmon tallied 11 points, and Lin scored 10 points and was 6-for-6 from the line.
The young Atlanta team had won back-to-back games twice previously before breaking through for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Detroit got 18 points from Langston Galloway, 16 points from Jackson, 13 points and 15 rebounds from Andre Drummond and 15 points and seven rebounds from Griffin. The Pistons have lost two straight and nine of their last 11.
The Hawks continued their stretch of excellent defensive play in the first half and led 57-43 at halftime. Carter led Atlanta with 14 first-half points and the Hawks shot 52.5 percent from the floor.
The Pistons got as close as nine points in the third quarter before the Hawks began to stretch the lead, eventually leading 79-66 going into the fourth quarter.
Both teams return home for games on Dec. 26. Atlanta will host Indiana, while Detroit will host Washington.
—Field Level Media