Drummond, Jackson lead Pistons past Atlanta
DETROIT (AP) — Andre Drummond had 16 points, 20 rebounds and a career-high seven assists, and Reggie Jackson made a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute to lift the Detroit Pistons to a 111-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
The Central Division-leading Pistons won for the seventh time in eight games. Detroit (9-3) is off to its best start since 2005-06, when the Pistons went 10-2 to begin the season and ended up winning 64 games.
The Pistons outscored Atlanta 31-19 in the second quarter and led 57-41 at halftime, but couldn’t shake the Hawks. Atlanta kept it close and finally tied it at 94 when Kent Bazemore made back-to-back 3-pointers.
It was tight the rest of the way, but Jackson’s 3-pointer with 52.5 seconds remaining put the Pistons up 103-100. He connected again from beyond the arc with 21.3 seconds left to make it 107-100.
Dennis Schroder had 17 points and 11 assists for Atlanta (2-10), which has the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Drummond surpassed his previous career high of five assists by halftime, and he calmly made two free throws with 1:28 remaining to put the Pistons up 100-98. Drummond’s foul shooting has improved noticeably this season, and he was 4 for 6 against the Hawks.
Drummond has had at least 12 rebounds in each of his first 12 games this season, matching Kevin Love’s streak to start the 2011-12 season. The last player with a longer streak to start a season was Moses Malone with 16 games in 1978-79.
Hawks: Mike Muscala (sprained left ankle), DeAndre’ Bembry (fractured right wrist), Miles Plumlee (strained right quad) and Ersan Ilyasova (bruised left knee) missed the game.
Pistons: Detroit was without Stanley Johnson (strained right hip flexor) and Jon Leuer (left ankle sprain).
Johnson missed a second straight game for the Pistons with a right hip flexor strain.
Johnson was also out for Wednesday night’s win over Indiana after starting the first 10 games of the season. The 6-foot-7 forward is average 8.5 points per game.
Hawks: At Washington on Saturday night.
Pistons: Vs. Miami on Sunday.