It was a close one throughout, but the Hawks prevailed in Detroit against the Pistons, coming away with a 118-114 win.
The Hawks started the game with a 12-7 lead, thanks mostly to eight points from Paul Millsap on 4-of-4 shooting. After a few more possessions between the two teams, Andre Drummond was assessed a technical foul. The game would stay close for the middle of the first quarter, as Millsap was able to stay perfect, giving the Hawks a 22-19 lead and 10 points on the night before eight minutes had gone by in the game.
Mike Budenholzer was forced to call timeout after a 12-4 Pistons run, giving the Pistons a 24-22 lead with 3:56 remaining in the first. After the timeout, the Hawks came out with a little more energy, and kept the Pistons from coming away with a big lead. While they were holding Andre Drummond in check, Tobias Harris was having himself a quarter, with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting through 10 minutes of play.
Although the Hawks defensive effort has been exceptional lately, the first quarter didn't display that, allowing the Pistons to take a 32-30 lead through the first 12 minutes.
Detroit came out strong in the second quarter, jumping out to a 39-32 lead thanks to a pair of Marcus Morris jumpers and a Stanley Johnson three. The Pistons were getting good looks, with the Hawks settling for threes on quite a few possessions. As it appeared that the Pistons were carrying all the momentum, Dennis Schröder made a three, and followed it up with some great ball movement to Mike Scott, and then to Al Horford, and the Hawks were able to trim the lead to three at 44-41.
Although they were able to keep getting some great open looks, the Pistons couldn't quite get a lead on the Hawks, who were getting shots when they needed them, including a Jeff Teague three that trimmed the Piston lead to 52-49, after the Hawks fell down six. Despite Drummond having only two points and four rebounds, the Pistons held a 54-52 lead with less than three minutes to go in the second quarter.
The Hawks were able to tie the game at 59 with under a minute left. A pair of Teague free throws gave him 10 points on the night, and a 61-59 lead for the Hawks, until Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked down a three, giving the Pistons a 62-61 lead heading into the locker room.
The third quarter started off with much of the same for both teams. The first six minutes were highlighted with a Kent Bazemore hustle play, that resulted in him getting a technical foul after he was upset that he did not get a whistle after being knocked down. After the Bazemore tech, the Pistons stretched out an 82-71 lead, the biggest of the game for either team.
An Al Horford three stopped the Pistons run, and the hack-a-Drummond strategy was enforced by the Hawks. He would be pulled from the game shortly after it was clear that was the route that the Hawks were willing to go. When Drummond was taken out, the Hawks were able to take the lead at 87-84, a 16-2 run, which would be stopped by a Steve Blake basket. The Pistons took an 88-87 lead heading into the fourth thanks to a pair of Stanley Johnson free throws.
Atlanta opened up the fourth quarter with a 95-91 lead in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, thanks to threes from Sefolosha and Korver. After a Drummond free throw, Schröder knocked down a three of his own, giving the Hawks a 98-92 lead. The Pistons were able to regain the lead at 99-98 with under six minutes to go in the game. The Hawks defense lightened up after taking the lead. As the crowd at The Palace began to come alive, Bazemore silenced them with a three pointer.
The game would remain close in what continued to be a highly competitive game. A pair of Jeff Teague free throws gave the Hawks a 108-104 lead with 2:19 remaining in the game, and Andre Drummond not on the floor. The Hawks would wrap the game up at the free throw line, with one from Sefolosha, and another pair from Teague to make it a 111-104 game with 1:25 left in the game.
It seemed like the clock couldn't run out fast enough for the Hawks, they were up 115-108 with a minute remaining, but the Pistons were able to get it down to 116-111, and regained possession after a pair of missed Millsap free throws. On the ensuing possession, Sefolosha fouled Morris on a drive to the basket, in which Morris made the layup and free throw to make it 116-114 with 18.8 seconds remaining.
Teague continued to come up big for the Hawks at the free throw line, making a pair for the Hawks, as a missed Reggie Jackson three on the other end of the floor resulted in a 118-114 win for the Hawks.