The Detroit Pistons, featuring new faces in their starting unit, pulled off an opening-day upset against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night at Philips Arena, 106-94.
Marcus Morris and Ersan Ilyasova, both acquired by the Pistons in offseason trades, were big contributors in their debuts. Morris had a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Ilyasova hit three three-pointers on his way to 16 points.
All Pistons’ starters also finished in double-figure scoring with franchise player Andre Drummond finishing with a huge double-double of 18 points and 19 rebounds plus two blocked shots. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting, while Reggie Jackson added 15 points and eight assists.
Meanwhile, some Hawks’ starters simply couldn’t find their shots, as the Eastern Conference finalists shot just 38.5 percent from the field. Shapshooter Kyle Korver finished with just seven points on 3-of-9 shooting overall and 1-of-5 shooting from the arc ,and Kent Bazemore went scoreless in 21 minutes.
Atlanta got off a rough start falling 10-20 in the first quarter but eventually got their rhythm to take a 30-25 lead early in the second quarter. Detroit regained their composure and took a 48-43 lead at halftime. After the break, it was all Detroit as the Pistons started the third quarter with an 8-0 run and never looked back in notching the blowout victory.
The Hawks’ trio of Paul Millsap (19 points and 8 rebounds), Al Horford (15 points and 3 blocked shots) and Jeff Teague (18 points and 4 assists) posted strong numbers, and Mike Budenholzer received a solid effort from Dennis Schroder. The reserve guard scored 20 points, while the rest of the bench combined to score 15 points.
The Hawks look to bounce back Thursday when they travel to New York to face the Knicks. Detroit's home opener is Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz.