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Detroit at Atlanta

Pistons fall as Smith struggles in return to Atlanta

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Josh Smith was glad to get past his homecoming.

Smith's former Atlanta teammates were glad to hang on for an ugly win.

Paul Millsap, signed in the offseason to replace Smith, had 19 points to steal the spotlight in Smith's return to Atlanta, leading the Hawks to a 93-85 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Smith, who signed with Detroit after nine seasons with the Hawks, had 11 points while shooting 5 of 15 from the field.

"I'm glad I got this one under my belt," Smith said. "Now we can move on and just focus on playing basketball."

There was a mixed response for Smith in pregame introductions but only applause following a "Thanks Josh Smith" message on the video board during the first timeout.

"It was what I expected, kind of," Smith said. "Some cheering, a little bit of boos, but it's all good."

Smith called his return to his hometown "kind of a surreal moment" before the game.

Al Horford, Smith's former teammate, said "it was different" to have Smith wearing the Pistons' blue uniform on the Hawks' home court.

"Josh was a teammate of mine for a long time and I know he felt it," Horford said. "I felt it, too. There was a little nostalgia, I think you could say. But it was good. He's trying to move forward and so are we, but it was just good to see him."

The Hawks pulled away after leading 66-64 through three quarters. Jeff Teague scored 18 points and DeMarre Carroll had 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks was ejected with 2:36 remaining after complaining to an official during a timeout. Cheeks wouldn't reveal what he said that drew the two technical fouls and ejection.

"Nothing. Just got `em," Cheeks said. "I don't need to get fined!"

Brandon Jennings led Detroit with 21 points. Rodney Stuckey had 18 before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Each team showed signs of playing the second of back-to-back nights.

"It's important during the season to find a way to win some ugly games and I think our group tonight found a way to do that, to find some energy when it probably wasn't easy for either group," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Added Horford: "It wasn't the prettiest game. We just made enough plays to win the game."

Millsap started after missing the Hawks' loss at Miami on Tuesday night with a sore right elbow. Millsap, who made eight of 14 shots, said he wasn't motivated by comparisons with Smith.

"I'm not Josh Smith," Millsap said. "It didn't faze me at all. It wasn't about me. It's not about me."

Instead, it was about Smith for many fans and perhaps for the forward who had three steals and blocked two shots.

"My teammates know how important the game is to me," Smith said before the game.

Asked what he has missed about his Atlanta hometown, Smith said: "My house. And my mother's home cooking."

Smith missed a jump hook on the Pistons' first possession and then missed two 3-pointers before making a layup for his first field goal.

Smith wasn't the only player to struggle with poor shooting early. Each team shot under 30 percent in the first quarter. The Pistons led 46-43 at halftime before Atlanta took a 66-64 advantage into the final period.

Mike Scott scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Teague had eight points in the final period.

Notes

Kyle Korver has made a 3-pointer in 85 consecutive games, four shy of matching the NBA record set by Dana Barros (1994-96). Korver left the game in the first quarter with a left eye laceration. The cut did not require stitches and he returned early in the second to make his first of two 3s. ... The Pistons were without G Chauncey Billups (left knee tendinitis), G Will Bynum (sore left hamstring) and F Charlie Villanueva (back). ... The teams play again Friday night at Detroit.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Josh Smith's first game in Atlanta since signing with the Pistons goes badly as he shoots 5 of 15 from the field.  (USATSI)
Josh Smith's first game in Atlanta since signing with the Pistons goes badly as he shoots 5 of 15 from the field. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
Detroit (4-7)1333182185
Atlanta (7-5) «1528232793
DET:B. Jennings 21 Pts
DET:A. Drummond 12 Reb
DET:B. Jennings 6 Ast
ATL:P. Millsap 19 Pts
ATL:D. Carroll 12 Reb
ATL:J. Teague 7 Ast
Players of the Game
DetroitAtlanta

Brandon Jennings

DeMarre Carroll
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
217611123
Detroit
B. Jennings, PG419-210-176021
J. Smith, SF365-151-262311
A. Drummond, C355-110-0120410
G. Monroe, PF343-81-24427
K. Caldwell-Pope, SG231-92-24114
R. Stuckey, PG267-123-302618
K. Singler, SF222-62-27106
L. Datome, SF112-40-01015
J. Harrellson, PF61-10-01023
P. Siva, PG60-00-01120
C. Billups, PGDid Not Play
C. Villanueva, PFDid Not Play
W. Bynum, PGDid Not Play
J. Jerebko, SFDid Not Play
T. Mitchell, PFDid Not Play
Totals 35-879-1243172185
 40.2%75.0% 
Atlanta
D. Carroll, SF363-64-6123211
J. Teague, PG348-142-217318
K. Korver, SG322-52-25208
A. Horford, C325-70-082110
P. Millsap, PF288-143-420119
M. Scott, PF194-93-540311
S. Mack, PG170-31-22301
G. Ayon, PF173-41-23017
L. Williams, SG152-61-10506
C. Martin, SF101-30-01112
E. Brand, PFDid Not Play
J. Cunningham, SGDid Not Play
J. Jenkins, SGDid Not Play
D. Schroder, PGDid Not Play
P. Antic, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-7117-2438231293
 50.7%70.8% 
Other Games
Wash 98 Final
Cle 91
Ind 103 Final
NY 96
Mia 120 Final
Orl 92
Tor 108 Final
Phi 98
Brook 91 Final
Char 95
Utah 98 Final
NO 105
Port 91 Final
Mil 82
LAC 102 Final
Min 98
Bos 93 Final
SA 104
Sac 113 Final
Pho 106
Hou 120 Final
Dal 123
Mem 88 Final
GS 81