The Pistons look to continue their home dominance of the struggling Atlanta Hawks when the teams meet Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Detroit is 21-3 at home against Atlanta since Feb. 4, 1995, with its last loss to the Hawks there coming on Dec. 10, 2004. The Pistons (16-8) have won seven of eight overall meetings with Atlanta since, including four at the Palace.

Chauncey Billups finished with 17 points Thursday to lead the Pistons to an 87-71 win at Cleveland. The point guard hit his first three shots of the fourth quarter to start a 14-3 run after shooting 1-for-9 from the field over the first three periods.

``They saw me missing shots early and let their guard down a little,'' said Billups, who is averaging 23.6 points over the last five games. ``That's when I attacked. That's how I play.''

The win was Detroit's third in a row and fifth in its last six contests. The streak is its longest since a season-high eight-game run from Nov. 17-Dec. 1, which included a 103-98 home victory over Atlanta on Nov. 22.

Billups scored 24 points with 10 assists in that win, as all of Detroit's starters reached double-digit points.

Defensively, the Pistons have allowed the Hawks an average of just 86.7 points in the last 24 meetings at Auburn Hills, Mich.

The Hawks have only managed to top the century mark once in that span, a 106-105 double-overtime loss on Dec. 30, 1999.

Atlanta (9-15) lost 100-90 to Indiana on Friday, as former Hawks Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington combined for 47 points to extend their old club's losing skid to three games - all at home.

``Give those guys, (Jackson and Harrington) credit, they played great but that's not the reason we lost. We just acted like we didn't want to play,'' Hawks guard Joe Johnson said. ``Like we're just going through the motions. It shouldn't be that way. We're professionals. We shouldn't have to beg guys to play every night.''

The Hawks are 5-14 after starting the season with four wins in five games and aspirations of snapping a seven-year playoff absence. Atlanta has only held three opponents under 90 points in 24 games this season.

Johnson, who scored a team-high 31 points Friday, is among the league leaders in scoring with a career-best 28.4 points per game. He finished last season with a 20.2 average - his previous career high.

Atlanta must rely heavily on the 25-year-old Johnson, as Tyronn Lue - the team's next highest scorer at 14.7 points per game - is expected to miss his fourth consecutive game Saturday with a strained groin.

Johnson has only averaged 12.2 points in 13 career games against the Pistons, but scored 25 in the last meeting.


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