Pistons Lead From Start To Finish, Beat Hawks 118-95

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Reggie Jackson scored 26 points, Andre Drummond collected 13 points and 17 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons cooled down the Atlanta Hawks 118-95 on Wednesday night at The Palace.

Playing their first game since a five-game West Coast trip, the Pistons never trailed as they opened up a 30-point lead in the opening half. Pistons forward Tobias Harris supplied 19 points and Marcus Morris racked up 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Reggie Bullock, making his second start this season for Detroit, contributed 15 points, six rebounds and four assists and Aron Baynes tossed in 12 points off the bench

The Pistons (20-24), who outrebounded the Hawks 60-32, were once again missing two of their starters. Power forward Jon Leuer sat out for the fifth straight game with a bone bruise on his right knee, while shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed his third straight game with a left rotator cuff strain.

Paul Millsap’s 21 points and eight rebounds led the Hawks (24-18), who had won nine of their last 10 games. Dennis Schroder added 13 points and six assists, and Kris Humphries also chipped in 13 points.

The Pistons took a double-digit lead midway through the first quarter and never looked back.

Detroit led 42-18 after the first, its highest-scoring quarter of the season. The Pistons’ previous high was 37 against Charlotte on Jan. 5. Harris led the way with 15 points, sinking all of three of his 3-point attempts in the process.

When Morris sank two free throws with just under eight minutes left in the half, the advantage was up to 30, 54-24.

The Pistons’ also established a new season high in halftime points while taking a 69-45 lead to the locker room. Their previous best was 64 points against the New York Knicks on Nov. 1.

Atlanta couldn’t make up ground in the second half, trailing by 26 after three quarters at 94-68.

NOTES: The Hawks signed veteran G Gary Neal to a 10-day contract. He will serve as the third point guard. “I have a great comfort level with Gary, his ability to make shots and be a weapon off the bench in big games,” said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, a Spurs assistant when Neal played in San Antonio. … Atlanta made room for Neal by dealing PG Mo Williams and cash considerations to the Nuggets for the rights to European F Cenk Akyol. … The Pistons allowed 10 of their previous 22 opponents to shoot 50 percent or better. “We need to become a much better defensive team than we’ve been our last 20 games,” coach Stan Van Gundy said. … Atlanta is 6-0 all time when PF Paul Millsap scores 30 or more points. … The teams, who split their first two meetings, wrapped up their season series.

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