TSN TV Schedule TSN2 TV Schedule
NBA

Millsap leads Hawks past Pistons in Smith's return to Atlanta

{eot}
The Canadian Press
11/20/2013 11:29:25 PM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

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 off-season 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 per cent 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 period with a left eye laceration. The cut did not require stitches and he returned early in the second period 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.

Paul Millsap (Photo: Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

zoom

(Photo: Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story


Big Tour

A Historic Event

It was Canada's night at the NBA Draft as four players from north of the border were selected.


1. Andrew Wiggins - Cavaliers

8. Nik Stauskas - Kings

18. Tyler Ennis - Suns

45. Dwight Powell - Hornets


2014 NBA Draft Tracker

Social Media
twitter icon

Follow the Raptors and Raptor play-by-play man Matt Devlin on Twitter! Check out the latest Tweets!

Podcasts

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - July 27th 2014

Will & Duane fill the lanes with new friends of the program Aggrey Sam/CSN Chicago & Tony McIntyre/CIA Bounce along with the News, Views & Truths.

TSN 1050: 1On1 With Will & Duane - July 20th 2014

Will & Duane are Wiggin' out on the LBJ-Love Triangle, Canada Basketball team dilemma, Summer League Love/Hate & the News, Views & Truths

TSN 1050 Toronto: Game Night with Andy McNamara - Will Strickland - July 20

Will joins the show to chat some hoops during a busy NBA offseason. Wiggins/Love talks, LeBron's return to Cleveland & what the Raptors accomplished.


More Podcasts

© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television