Late comeback falls short, Hawks slip past Pistons, 118-114

The Detroit Pistons cut a nine-point deficit to two in just 43 seconds of action but couldn’t finish the job, falling to the Atlanta Hawks 118-114 on Wednesday.

The Pistons, playing the first of nine consecutive games at the Palace, held a nine-point lead of their own in the third before the Hawks (39-29) embarked on a 16-2 to take control.

Both teams took turns holding the lead in the fourth before Atlanta once more seized momentum mid-way through the period on a Paul Millsap three-point play.

Atlanta’s 118 points matches the Pistons’ average number allowed over their previous three contests. Detroit’s first quarter defensive struggles continued as well, surrendering 30 points after giving up an average of 35 over their last three.

All five Pistons finished in double-figures, led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 24.

Despite the loss, the Pistons remain in a dead heat with the Chicago Bulls for the final playoff spot in the East. Chicago suffered a 117-96 loss at the hands of the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, dropping them to 33-33. The Pistons are now 34-34.

Jeff Teague paced Atlanta with 22.

Additional Notes & Observations

  • Bright spot: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is now averaging 19.8 points per game over his last six games.
  • Hack-a-Dre is alive and well. The Hawks took turns intentionally fouling Pistons center Andre Drummond at various points throughout the contest. Drummond responded by hitting 7-of-18 from the line, finishing with 18 points and 18 rebounds.
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