The Atlanta Hawks ventured to Detroit on Friday night to do battle with Blake Griffin and the Pistons. The Hawks were without Cam Reddish, John Collins and Kevin Huerter while the Pistons listed Tony Snell and Reggie Jackson as out.
Atlanta was very quick out of the gate with an 11-2 run to open the evening and the Hawks once led by a 17-7 margin. From there, it was all Pistons as they countered with a 25-6 extended run featuring a heavy dose of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond around the rim against Atlanta’s lackluster bigs.
After scoring 11 points in the first 3:05, the Hawks offense completely deflated as they managed just 12 more points in the remaining 8:55 of the first. The three point line was definitely a problem as the Hawks piled up the missed shots from distance.
Detroit, to their credit, took full advantage and really got their momentum rolling as they carried a 33-22 lead into the second quarter where the story continued to be bleak for the Hawks.
De’Andre Hunter splashed an opening three on the first possession of the second which was a sign of things to come, but the teams began to trade made baskets. It wasn’t until around the 9:00 minute mark that Atlanta began to get some push.
Hunter got the run started with an AND-1 layup and then accounted for 11 of the Hawks next 15 points to help close the gap all the way down to 11 points.
De'Andre Hunter had 16 points in the second quarter. pic.twitter.com/xKsl9lSvGy— FOX Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnFSSE) November 23, 2019
However, Detroit exploded on a back-breaking 9-0 run to close the first half and Atlanta saw their hopes of winning this one slip away rather quickly.
At halftime, the Hawks had already allowed 76 points to the Pistons, which was good for a 146 defensive rating (that’s not good). Detroit shot 12-of-20 on three pointers in the opening half and, as a result, the home team found themselves leading 76-57.
Atlanta opened the third quarter with a lot more DeAndre’ Bembry and he obliged with back-to-back three pointers right away. However, the Hawks did not make the proper perimeter adjustments and the Pistons hit four three pointers in the opening 3:13 of the second half.
As the gap continued to widen we did see Chandler Parsons score his first points as a Hawk with a quick put-back layup off of a missed shot. He then followed up with a made shot from three for good measure.
The Hawks mucked up the pace late in the third to slow down the massacre, but Detroit still managed their third quarter over 30 points in the game as they stretched the lead to 107-84 going into the final quarter.
Bembry really got hot in the third and it lead into the fourth where he secured his career high in points scored (which was previously 21), as well as three pointers (previously at three).
That was the main bright spot on the night as Detroit just continued to punish the Hawks defense.
Atlanta got over the 100-point scoring mark for the eighth straight game as scoring continues to not be an issue. The problem is that the Hawks also continued the consecutive streak of games allowing more than 120 points, pushing that to eight straight.
The final minutes somewhat resembled basketball as the Hawks limped to the end of this one. The Pistons cruised comfortably to the 128-103 win to snap a five-game losing streak of their own, all while extending Atlanta’s to five games.
Leading the way for the Hawks was Bembry with 22 points, six assists, four steals and four rebounds. Trae Young added nine points and eight assists, but played most of the night as a non-factor (by his standards) in this game. Hunter had a nice second quarter, but was quiet the rest of the way as he finished with 18 points.
Atlanta will be back at it on Saturday night in Toronto at 7:30 pm ET. Be sure to join us then.