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Pistons vs. Hawks: Hack-A-Dre sinks Pistons, 118-114

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Such a gross strategy, but it gets the Hawks the win.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons were rolling in the third quarter. They took an 11 point lead and looked to be cruising to the win. Then Hack-A-Dre.

The Hawks only fouled Drummond once, which led to two missed free throws, but they forced Dre out of the game. Without their All Star big man, the Pistons yielded a quick 16-2 run for Atlanta to jump right back into it.

They continued to pull away to a six point lead in the fourth quarter. But after a big steal from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope that he turned into a trip to the line in transition followed up by a Marcus Morris three point shot, Mike Budenholzer went back to Hack-A-Dre.

Stan Van Gundy kept Drummond in this time, and Dre responded by splitting his four trips to the line. And Detroit stayed with them. SVG finally pulled the plug on Hack-A-Dre by bringing in Aron Baynes with just under four minutes left in the game, with the Pistons down only one.

But the stagnation left the Pistons offense completely out of sync and they couldn't buy a bucket. And with all of the shots coming off the rim, they desperately missed Drummond's rebounding. The Hawks got all of the loose balls, all of the calls, and the win.

Despite the loss, it was at least a decent showing after the Pistons' embarrassing loss on Monday night to the Washington Wizards. Their energy seemed better, the ball movement was there, and, despite giving up 118 points, they weren't terrible defensively.

All five starters ended the game in double figures, but nobody on the court was better than Caldwell-Pope. KCP finished with 24 points and made life miserable for Kyle Korver.

Fortunately the Pistons don't lose any ground in the playoff race, as the Chicago Bulls also lost. Next up is the Sacramento Kings on Friday night, a game that the Pistons could really stand to win.

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