Horford's big game leads Hawks over Pistons

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm •  Published: February 25, 2013
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — On the second game of a tough road trip, Al Horford and the Atlanta Hawks made the most of a chance to put away a weakened opponent.

Horford had 23 points and 22 rebounds, leading the Hawks to a 114-103 victory over the banged-up Detroit Pistons on Monday night. It was the fifth win in six games for Atlanta.

The Pistons were without injured guard Brandon Knight and suspended guard Will Bynum.

"Obviously, Detroit's a little depleted, and in the past, we've kind of relaxed when that happens," Horford said. "I think that we did a great job of coming out and staying aggressive."

Josh Smith added 23 points for the Hawks, who were ahead 61-51 at halftime and led by as many as 26 in the third quarter.

The Pistons have lost three straight, all without Knight, who has a hyperextended right knee. Bynum was also out Monday, suspended for a game for striking Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough during a game against the Pacers on Saturday.

"When you are a little short-handed, everyone has to put more into the game, but that didn't happen tonight," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "We let them have too many easy baskets, and when you let a team like that get into a rhythm, it is hard to stop it."

Jeff Teague had 20 points for Atlanta, which shot 14 of 33 from 3-point range. Kyle Korver scored 15 points, all from beyond the arc.

Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 22 points, and Jonas Jerebko added 21.

Horford equaled his career high in rebounds.

"The key to the rebounds was our guards honestly," Horford said. "Our guards did a great job containing off the dribble, and that allowed me to stay attached with those big guys. In the past, I usually have to go help, then we have problems with offensive rebounding."

Atlanta's only loss in its last six games was to Miami, and the Heat lead the Hawks by 8½ games in the Southeast Division. But the Hawks are very much on the bubble for home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. They moved percentage points ahead of Brooklyn for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.



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