By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Dewayne Dedmon gave Atlanta the lead with a three-point play and then padded the margin with a 3-pointer, lifting the Hawks to a 118-115 win over Blake Griffin and Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Dedmon matched his career high with 20 points and had 13 rebounds in his matchup with Andre Drummond, who had 25 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit.
Dennis Schroder had 23 points, including six free throws in the final 20 seconds, for Atlanta.
Dedmon’s three-point play gave Atlanta a 109-107 lead with 1:34 remaining. Following a missed jumper by Jameer Nelson, Dedmon sank a 3-pointer from the corner to push the lead to five points.
Griffin, who had 23 points, answered with a 3-pointer for Detroit. Schroder made two free throws for a 114-110 lead. Griffin’s layup cut the Atlanta lead to two points before Schroder added two more free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining for a 116-112 advantage.
Anthony Tolliver missed a 3-pointer for Detroit before Schroder iced the win with two more free throws. Griffin added a 3 as the final buzzer sounded.
The Pistons have lost two straight after winning five in a row, including four with the newly acquired Griffin.
Drummond was a difficult matchup for Atlanta, consistently drawing fouls near the basket. Drummond made 9 of 13 free throws and was the major reason Hawks rookie John Collins and Dedmon had foul problems. Collins fouled out with 3:25 remaining and Dedmon finished with four fouls.
The Hawks led 49-40 midway through the second period, following back-to-back baskets by Ersan Ilyasova. Detroit closed the half with a 10-2 run — with Reggie Bullock supplying all the points — to lead 56-55 at the break.
Malcolm Delaney’s three-point play gave Atlanta its big lead at 82-73, but the Pistons scored the final seven points of the period to cut the lead to 82-80.
Pistons: Reggie Bullock had 20 points, two away from his career high. … James Ennis and Nelson, obtained in trades with Memphis and Chicago, respectively, on Thursday, made their debuts late in the first period. Ennis had 14 points. Nelson had six points and five assists.
Hawks: Ilyasova had 19 points. … After missing the last 18 games with a left groin strain/left abductor strain, DeAndre Bembry was in uniform but did not play. Bembry was arrested early Friday after he was clocked driving 128 mph on an Atlanta interstate.
Griffin appeared to be trying to throw the ball to official Michael Smith following a foul call in the second period, but his pass hit Schroder on the back of his head. Schroder, who had been standing close to Smith, objected and the two had a brief exchange before Griffin was called for a technical foul. Griffin’s attempt to explain the pass didn’t change the call.
Pistons: Host New Orleans on Monday
Hawks: Visit Milwaukee on Tuesday