The Atlanta Hawks almost let up a colossal collapse against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night by blowing a 22-point fourth quarter lead and getting forced into two overtime periods before pulling out a 126-119 victory.
Atlanta led 84-62 with 11:42 in the fourth quarter but Detroit came storming back with a 3-point shooting stampede, knocking down five straight in a four minute span to cut the deficit down to 94-77 with 6:35 remaining.
The Pistons got it down to single-digits, 99-90, with 2:47 left and continued to scrap away, shockingly putting themselves in position to win the game in regulation after running off a 11-0 spurt as Will Bynum found teammate Austin Daye for the go-ahead 3-pointer with 4 ticks left on the clock.
After an Atlanta timeout, Al Horford drew a foul on Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva and went to the foul-line with a chance to win the game, down by one with just one second left. If Al makes both, Hawks win.
But Al didn’t make both.
He hit the first free-throw and choked on the second attempt.
In the first OT, Bynum scored five straight points to give Detroit control of a 108-104 advantage but Horford made a layup and Jeff Teague sank two foul-shots to bring the Hawks back to tie the game.
Bynum and Josh Smith both had chances to hit the game-winning shot in the closing seconds but Bynum’s nice cross over layup was too strong off the backboard and Smith’s 11-ft attempt hit the front rim and bounced off as time expired.
After toying with the Pistons for FAR too long, the Hawks pulled away in OT #2 as sharp-shooter Kyle Korver delivered a dagger of a 3-pointer and helped Atlanta ice the game down the stretch.
Korver and Teague each hit a pair of foul-shots in the closing seconds to secure the 126-119 victory.
Atlanta was dominated on the boards (62-47) but had more assists (35-21) and fast break points (36-9) than Detroit.
Will Bynum powered the Pistons with 31 points off the bench — he only had 5 points entering the fourth quarter. Andre Drummond (16), Rodney Stuckey (16), Charlie Villanueva (14), Tayshaun Prince (14) and Greg Monroe (10) also scored in double-figures.
Josh Smith led the Hawks with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Al Horford (22), Lou Williams (18), Jeff Teague (17) and Anthony Morrow (16) were also in double-figures.
Atlanta visits the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Dec. 28. Tip-off at 7:30 PM (ET).