The Detroit Pistons hope to keep their momentum going from game homestand tonight versus the Atlanta Hawks at The Palace.
The Pistons opened the homestand by beating Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, 88-85, in overtime on Tuesday. Rodney Stuckey scored 34 points, including a critical three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation, while Jason Maxiell had his first double-double of the season with 10 points, 10 rebounds for Detroit, which for just the second time in six tries.
Stuckey discussed his performance against a tough Lakers team postgame.
"Absolutely, that's my game; I've been doing that since high school. Just being aggressive taking the ball to the basket, that's pretty much my game," said Stuckey, who is averaging 27.7 ppg in his past three.
Ben Gordon finished with 15 points and five boards in the win. Greg Monroe had just two points and grabbed 15 boards for the Pistons. He is still posting 17.3 points and 12.7 rebounds in his last seven contests. Detroit is 10-11 at The Palace this season and will close out the residency Saturday versus Toronto.
Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince is two games shy of 700 in his career and Monroe is one rebound short of 1,000.
Atlanta will continue a six-game road trip tonight and had a three-game winning streak halted with Wednesday's 89-86 loss at Miami.
Josh Smith led Atlanta with 23 points and six rebounds, while Jeff Teague added 16 points. Jerry Stackhouse scored 10 off the bench and Zaza Pachulia posted nine points and 10 boards for the Hawks, who played without leading scorer Joe Johnson for a fourth straight game due to a balky left knee. Johnson has not played in six of the past seven games.
"We still had an opportunity going down the stretch, but clearly we didn't make the plays at the end," said Atlanta head coach Larry Drew.
The Hawks are 11-10 away from Philips Arena and will also visit the Kings, Nuggets and Clippers on the trek. Johnson is listed as questionable for Friday and so are guards Tracy McGrady (knee), Willie Green (back) and Jeff Teague (knee). Smith has picked up the scoring slack recently and is averaging 23.3 points over his last six games.
Atlanta is 12-1 when Smith hits the 20-point mark. Smith is 12 offensive rebounds short of passing Dikembe Mutombo (1,228) for sixth place on the franchise's career list.
The Hawks defeated the Pistons, 107-101, in overtime on Jan. 27 this season behind a 30-point performance from Johnson. Monroe had 22 points and 11 boards in that one for Detroit, which has lost three straight and nine of the previous 12 matchups between the teams. Atlanta hasn't had much success as the guest in this series lately, losing 20 of the past 25 games at The Palace.