(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference tangle Friday night at The Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Atlanta Hawks will take on the hosting Detroit Pistons.
The Hawks are the top team in the East and have won six in a row. Detroit is starting to flourish with seven consecutive wins since parting ways with Josh Smith, who played his first nine seasons in Atlanta.
Atlanta is currently leading the Southeast Division and continued to roll with Wednesday's 96-86 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies. Jeff Teague scored 25 points and buried a big 3-pointer during a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter, while Kyle Korver scored 14 points and Pero Antic added 13 off the bench.
The Hawks closed the game on a 14-4 run after Memphis tied it at 82-82.
"We found a way over the last four or five minutes to get one more burst and get some stops on the defensive end," said Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer. "It was great to see how we finished tonight."
Teague has scored 20 or more points in each of the past six games, posting an average of 23.5 ppg in that time.
Al Horford and Paul Millsap scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Hawks, who have won 20 of their 22 games and nine in a row against teams from the Western Conference. Atlanta scored 19 points off 21 Memphis turnovers and is averaging 24.7 ppg off miscues in the past six contests.
The Hawks are 17-6 against the Eastern Conference and 12-5 on the road. They have won seven in a row outside Philips Arena, tying a franchise record.
Atlanta will host rival Washington Sunday afternoon.
Detroit has recorded some impressive wins during its current hot streak, including triumphs over Cleveland, San Antonio and Dallas. In Wednesday's 108-95 victory over the Mavericks in Big D, Greg Monroe scored 27 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the charge.
D.J. Augustin scored 17 of his season-high 26 points for the Pistons in the fourth quarter and Brandon Jennings scored 14 points. Andre Drummond finished with 19 boards to go along with six points for the Pistons, who shot 44.3 percent for the game and registered 34 points in the fourth quarter.
The Pistons used a 60-43 rebounding advantage and had a game-high 104-87 lead with about three minutes remaining in the game.
"I don't know why, but starting Dec. 22 we had three days of practice and from then on it's just been different," said Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy. "Guys have worked harder, they've been more attentive. A lot more together and again we don't have guys that are getting concerned about who's in the game or their playing time, or their shots, or anything else. They just want to win games."
Monroe is posting an average of 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in his last four games, while Drummond is averaging 15.2 points and 15.9 boards over the past 13 contests. Drummond needs five rebounds for 2,000 in his career.
Jennings cooled off in the win at Dallas, but is still scoring at a 22.8 ppg clip in his past four.
Detroit, which has scored 100 or more points in nine of the last 10 games, won 10 in a row from Jan. 23 - Feb. 13, 2008. The franchise record for consecutive wins is 13, which has been accomplished twice.
The Pistons are 4-13 at The Palace and will also host Brooklyn on Saturday.
Atlanta defeated Detroit, 99-89, on Nov. 21 at Philips Arena and Teague led the way with 28 points. Drummond chipped in 13 points and 16 boards in that one for the Pistons, losers in 10 of the last 14 meetings in this series.