The Detroit Pistons have an ugly habit of playing down to their competition and getting off to slow starts. On Friday night against the young Atlanta Hawks, however, Detroit was able to make quick work of an overmatched team, eventually winning 124-109.
With a minute left in first quarter, the Pistons were up 38-14, and the team never looked back. Andre Drummond provided the early scoring and rebounding punch while Blake Griffin facilitated the offense and had the Hawks scrambling. Drummond finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Griffin was on a low-key triple double watch but sat the entire fourth quarter. He ended with just 6 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.
All you need to know to understand just how much the Pistons dominated was that Stanley Johnson was lighting them up. He had 22 points and sank four 3-pointers.
The Pistons entered the night as one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the league, but buried 20 3s (connecting at a 42.6 percent clip). That included five from the suddenly lights out Langston Galloway who finished the night with 16 points.
The Pistons led by as many as 29 points and had seven players in double figures, but allowed the Hawks to get to the line 40 times allowed the game to look much closer than it was.
The only other thing of note about the game was that Khyri Thomas saw his first game action and after badly missing his first shot (a bunny layup), he was able to sink a corner 3 to get in the scoring column for the first time as a pro.
Jeremy Lin led the Hawks with 19 points and looks like a prime candidate to get saved from purgatory with a trade deadline deal to a playoff team.
Rookie Trae Young scored 16 points but didn’t look particularly impressive. He did most of his damage at the free-throw line when the Pistons stopped caring about pretty much anything. Young missed all three of his 3-point attempts and had more turnovers (6) than assists (5).