The Atlanta Hawks lost a heartbreaker to the Detroit Pistons 85-84 Friday night on a reversed three-point call that would have tied the score and push the game into overtime. Instead, Al Horford’s long shot attempt was ruled a two-pointer and Atlanta inevitably lost the game.
The play was originally called a successful three-point make, but after the officials went to the replay, they deemed Horford’s foot was on the perimeter line and officially reversed the ruling from a three-point shot to only a two-point shot.
With just five seconds remaining in the game, the Hawks found themselves trailing 85-84 and in need of a miracle. They came close when Jeff Teague stole Detroit’s inbound pass and got a fortunate timeout out call before advancing the ball.
Teague intercepted the pass and took a dribble before calling the timeout, which should have meant the Hawks take their ensuing possession out from their own side of the court, but the officials must have felt bad for taking away a point and let them take the ball out from Detroit’s side, making it a lot closer for the Hawks to get off a decent shot attempt.
After the timeout, Horford got the inbound pass from Lou Williams but quickly called another timeout with three ticks on the clock after Pistons forward Andre Drummond swarmed in and covered up any open space for Horford to get off a shot.
Horford made sure to get some space on the next play, pushing off Drummound to get the inbound pass from Williams, and tried to give a quick pass back to Williams who went sprinting to the corner behind the three-point line, but Rodney Stuckey clogged up the lane with his active defensive hands and delayed the pass, allowing Drummond time to switch down to Williams and block the shot attempt to end the game.
Austin Daye led Detroit with a season-high 20 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go along with six rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes of action. Greg Monroe was 5-of-14 shooting and narrowly missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds (five offensive), while converting 8-of-10 foul shots in the game. Jason Maxiell and Rodney Stuckey both scored 10 points each.
Al Horford had a double-double for the Hawks with 18 points and 15 boards, while Lou Williams (17) and Kyle Korver (10) also scored in double-figures. Horford’s front court running mate Josh Smith led the Hawks with a team-high 20 points.
Smith only played 31 minutes in the game, none of which in the fourth quarter. He was taken out of the game for Ivan Johnson with six seconds left in the third and didn’t return until there was five seconds remaining in regulation. Johnson and Anthony Tolliver provided the bulk of the fourth-quarter minutes in Smith’s absence.
Detroit bullied Atlanta on the boards, outrebounding them by a 56-38 margin and outscoring the Hawks in the paint 52-34. Both teams had a horrible shooting night as neither side shot better than 35% from downtown, 61% from the charity stripe, and 42% overall.
The Detroit Pistons (13-22) host the Charlotte Bobcats (8-24) on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 7:30 PM (ET).
The Atlanta Hawks (20-11) host rival Boston Celtics (15-17) on Saturday, Jan. 5, at at 7:00 PM (ET).