Detroit Pistons squander 17-point lead, fall in overtime to Atlanta Hawks
After losing three of their last four games, the Pistons wanted to end the final game of their road trip with three games in Miami and Atlanta.
They had an impressive win in the first game and lost a 19-point lead in the second half, but had one of their best games of the season in Monday’s matchup against the Hawks.
That is, until they let another line slip away.
The Pistons led by 17 points in the middle of the fourth quarter and could not hold on. On Wednesday night, they dropped to 123-115 overtime at the State Farm Arena.
Jerami Grant led the Pistons with a career high of 32 points, six rebounds and five assists. Grant scored all nine of the Pistons’ points in overtime – and it was his 13th straight game with more than 20 points, but it wasn’t enough.
Blake Griffin added 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Wayne Ellington 16 points and Derrick Rose 14 points for the Pistons (3-11).
BOX SCORE: Hawks 123, Pistons 115, OT
“It stings and it hurts because the boys played their hearts out. We didn’t play smart on the track, ”said coach Dwane Casey. “It’s not because of a lack of competition – and that’s one thing these guys do. Now we need to pay attention to details and basketball IQ in certain situations. “
The Pistons had their biggest lead, 99-82, 7:09 minutes ahead and seemed on their way to an easy win, but Trae Young (38 points and 10 assists) carried them down the track on eight points and fueled one Run 24 -7 to end regulation.
The Hawks (7-7) hit 103-101 after two free throws from John Collins (31 points and 11 rebounds), but Griffin responded with a reverse lay-in on the highlight reel and was fouled. Griffin ended the three-point game but the Pistons failed to score in the final 1:04 of regulation.
Young converted three of four free throws and found Clint Capela (27 points, 26 rebounds and five blocks) on her last regular possession to easily knot the game at 106. Grant had one last shot attempt, but Collins blocked it when the buzzer sounded.
In overtime, Grant scored the Pistons’ first five points and again they seemed on track to victory, but Capela scored a putback and Solomon Hill hit a 3-pointer to tie him. After two free throws from Grant, Collins made two of three free throws, Capela converted a three-point game that was part of a 10-run that postponed the game in the last minute of extra time.
Part of what helped the Hawks get back into the game was walking to the free throw line and scoring a few easy points so they could take off at the top and build their defenses. Casey noticed Young’s ability to get on track and get fouled, to which the pistons found no response to slow down.
“It broke our rhythm when we took them to the free throw line so many times and then we come down and play against a set defense,” said Casey. “It hurts, but we’re making calluses out of it and like I told him we need to keep the intensity and now put IQ and decision-making into competition.”