After gaining a little momentum in Indiana back on Sunday when they decimated the Pacers, the Atlanta Hawks were back at home to face the Detroit Pistons. This was the game that was postponed because of weather back in January, but after this performance, the Hawks would have been better off with a forfeit, losing 102-95.
The Pistons were without Josh Smith due to patella tendinitis in his left knee, and it actually made them better. Detroit finally toted out a more traditional lineup, and it allowed Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond to dominate the Hawks on the boards, and they jumped out to a 35-27 lead after the first quarter.
Although the Hawks would keep it close through the next two quarters, they never really had that spark they needed to pull this game out. They are in the middle of a serious playoff battle with just a handful of games left and looked like a team who checked out. Without Paul Millsap’s valiant effort, this game would have been much more out of hand.
After battling for the better part of 24 minutes, the Hawks finally took the lead in the third quarter. Their lack of effort failed them again, and the Pistons went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter and take the lead. They would never look back after that, and they held the Hawks to a measly 17 points in the final period.
Paul Millsap had 24 points and 12 rebounds, and he led five Hawks in double figures. Despite the loss, Atlanta still holds a game and a half lead over the Knicks for the final playoff spot in the East. Kyle Korver hit his 15ooth career three-pointer in this game, and Elton Brand played his 1000th career game, which are impressive milestones for these guys.
The Hawks are back in action Wednesday against the Celtics at home. Their magic number remains at three to make the playoffs.