Al Horford has been flying under the radar for the Atlanta Hawks and opposing teams may want to start keeping better notes on the former first-round pick.
Taken third overall back in 2007 after Greg Oden and Kevin Durant were selected, Horford will lead the Hawks in the continuation of a six-game road trip Monday against the Detroit Pistons. Horford has scored 20-plus points in five straight games for the first time in his career and is averaging 24.2 ppg in that stretch.
Horford, who's also posting 10.0 rebounds per game in the span, scored the go- ahead basket with 5.9 seconds remaining in Saturday's 103-102 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in the opener of the trip. Horford and Jeff Teague finished with 23 points for the Hawks, who have won two straight, four of five and nine of their last 14 games.
"This win, hopefully it will get us started in the right direction," Hawks coach Larry Drew said. "This is a long road trip for us, we'll be on the road for 11 days. This is the first of six and it was just a real quality win."
Horford got five stitches above his eye after the game and should be ready to go Monday. Atlanta has won three straight road games and is 13-13 as the guest this season. It will also visit the Jazz, Suns, Lakers and Nuggets on the trek.
Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver has made at least one 3-pointer in his last 48 games played -- the longest stretch in team history -- and has also sank 18 consecutive free throws. Teague, meanwhile, is averaging 10.1 assists in the last seven games.
The Hawks are 22-7 when scoring 100-plus points and 25-2 when leading heading into the fourth quarter (11-0 on the road).
Detroit looks to get back in the swing of things versus the Hawks and sustained a 90-72 drubbing at the hands of the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in the back end of a home-and-home series. Indiana won, 114-82, on Friday.
The Pistons were held to just nine points in the first quarter and received a team-high 15 points from Will Bynum. Bynum, though, was ejected for striking Tyler Hansbrough in the groin in the fourth quarter.
"When you're behind, it's that kind of ball game," Bynum said. "You have to play perfect to get back into the game, especially against a team like the Pacers. It's going to be tough if you make any mistakes."
The league handed Bynum a one-game suspension Sunday for the foul.
Jose Calderon added 13 points and Greg Monroe registered 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who have dropped three of four and seven of 11 games. The 72 points were a season low. Detroit is 15-17 at home.
After entertaining the Hawks, Detroit will play three straight and seven of their next nine games away from The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The 2012-13 season series between Detroit and Atlanta is tied at a game apiece with each team winning at home. The Hawks have won six of the last eight in this series, but are winless in two straight and 12 of 15 trips to The Palace.
Horford has posted three straight double-doubles against the Pistons, dating back to 2010-11, and is posting averages of 14.3 points and 10.6 boards in 16 career meetings with Detroit.