Hawks beat Pistons to climb over .500
ATLANTA -- Forward Paul Millsap and guard Kyle Korver combined for 48 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Detroit Pistons 105-98 on Friday to climb over the .500 mark for the first time since Nov. 30.
Atlanta got 26 points, six rebounds and five assists from Millsap and won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 9. Millsap has scored at least 20 points in seven of 12 games since missing three games with a hip injury.
Guard Kyle Korver knocked down three 3-pointers and scored a season-high 22 points as Atlanta avenged an earlier 36-point loss to the Piston.
Atlanta led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, only to have Detroit trim the lead to four points on Reggie Jackson's driving basket with 4:14 remaining. Atlanta regained control on a pair of baskets by Dwight Howard, one which led to a three-point play.
Howard recorded his 21st double-double, getting 10 points and 15 rebounds. Atlanta (17-16) also got 14 points and seven assists from Dennis Schroder and 10 points from Kent Bazemore.
Detroit (15-20) was led by Jackson with 20 points and eight assists and Jon Leuer with a season-high 22 points. Center Andre Drummond had 15 points and 15 rebounds, Tobias Harris scored 14 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 12.
Detroit has lost two straight and seven of its last eight games.
Leuer started hot with eight points in the first quarter, which finished with at 19-19 tie.
The Hawks used a 17-10 in the second quarter to take a seven-point lead for the first time with 6:03 left. The Pistons didn't get the Hawks stretch the lead any further until Atlanta got a three-point play by Bazemore, then made it 51-41 at halftime on a give-and-go to Korver under the basket. Korver scored all 11 of his first-half points in the second quarter.
Atlanta kept the momentum in the third period, scoring the first seven points, including a 3 by Bazemore, to up its lead to 17 with 10:49 left.
NOTES: Detroit returned F Tobias Harris to the starting lineup after a three-game test and moved Marcus Morris to the bench. ... Atlanta rookie F Ryan Kelly missed Friday's game for the birth of his daughter, Tess Eden Kelly. He is expected to be available for Sunday's game. Tiago Splitter was Atlanta's other inactive. Detroit's inactive players were F Reggie Bullock and G Michael Gbinije. ... Atlanta F Thabo Sefolosha would not comment on remarks made by New York's Carmelo Anthony, who claimed innocence of the charges he struck Sefolosha on Wednesday night. Anthony said Sefolosha "flopped." Sefolosha said, "Whoever wants to look at the tape, it shows exactly what happened." ... Atlanta hosts San Antonio, while Detroit travels to Miami for games on Jan. 1.