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Hawks aim to continue success vs. struggling Pistons

Dec 21, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) talks to referee Sean Corbin (33) against the Chicago Bulls in the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The visiting Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks will try to bounce back from disappointing losses when they meet on Friday for the third time this season.

The Pistons were hammered 113-93 by the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday and have lost four straight games.

Also Wednesday, the Hawks fell 110-108 to the Chicago Bulls on a last-second shot that ended their modest two-game winning streak.

Atlanta won the first two games of the season between the teams in Detroit, 118-113 on Oct. 26 and 136-112 on Oct. 28, one of seven games the Pistons have lost by at least 20 points this season.

The Hawks have won the past three contests against Detroit that have been played in Atlanta.

Atlanta continues to have trouble closing games.

On Monday against the Orlando Magic, Atlanta had a 12-point lead with 3:05 left and required two free throws from Dejounte Murray with 1.1 seconds remaining preserve the win.

Against Chicago, the Hawks led by eight points with five minutes remaining but could not put the Bulls away. Chicago wound up winning when Ayo Dosunmu grabbed a missed shot and scored at the buzzer.

“You’ve got to make plays, you’ve got to get stops and you’ve got to make baskets,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan said. “It was the same type of game we won against (the Bulls) a week ago. They outscrapped us for the offensive rebound.”

Atlanta’s Trae Young has scored 30-plus in three straight games and has done it 12 times this season. He is averaging 27.6 points and 9.8 assists. Young made a season-high seven 3-pointers against Chicago and his 27 first-half points represented a career high.

“I was in rhythm,” Young said. “A couple of shots went in. I’ve been working to try to get my rhythm and it’s good to see those go in.”

Murray averages 20.4 points and 6.3 assists but is averaging 16 points on 40 percent shooting (14 for 35) in the past two games after missing five contests with a sprained left ankle.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is averaging 17.6 points in nine games since his return from offseason knee surgery.

The young Pistons continue to have trouble with turnovers. They committed 22 against the Sixers, five of them by Isaiah Stewart. They average 14.6 for the season.

“That was the ball game, shooting ourselves in the foot,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. “I liked our fight down the stretch, the fight was there, but we had too many turnovers.”

“Those turnovers add up over the course of the game,” Marvin Bagley III said. “We’ve got to do better. I think we did, even with the turnovers, being able to fight back into the game, we just came up short.”

The Pistons are led by Bojan Bogdanovic, who averages 20.7 points. Jaden Ivey averages 15.6 points and 4.3 rebounds. Killian Hayes has been bothered by a left knee contusion but has not missed time.

Detroit is without Isaiah Livers, who has missed 10 games with a right shoulder sprain.

Atlanta is without Clint Capela, who has missed four of the past five games with a right calf strain.

–Field Level Media