After scoring at an impressive rate for the first two weeks of December, the Detroit Pistons turned in their worst offensive game of the season their last time out.
They look to get back on track Friday when they host the Atlanta Hawks, a team Detroit has dominated at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Pistons (15-7) have won six straight at home against Atlanta (10-11) and 23 of the last 26 meetings at the Palace of Auburn Hills, where Detroit is 7-2 this year. The Pistons are returning home to play four of their next five after playing four of their previous six on the road.
The Hawks have already lost their first two matchups against the Pistons this season, including a 92-91 road loss on Nov. 4.
Detroit has won seven of nine overall, averaging 102.9 points per game in that stretch - up from the 97.5 points it averaged during the first 13 games of the year. The Pistons, however, struggled their last time out, losing 80-77 to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, after posting double-digit wins against Charlotte and Memphis in their two previous games.
The Pistons scored a season low in points Wednesday and were held to a season-worst 36.1 shooting percentage. Neither team shot well from the free-throw line, with Detroit going 13-of-22 and Houston making 6-of-22 attempts.
Rasheed Wallace had 21 points and eight rebounds and Chauncey Billups scored 15 points and added seven assists. Detroit managed just 33 points in the opening half in its third game in four nights, which included back-to-back games on the road.
"We were tired tonight and I think it affected us mentally more than physically," Detroit coach Flip Saunders said. "We made some mental blunders at both ends."
Atlanta also blamed fatigue for its latest loss - a 100-88 defeat to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday which snapped its three-game winning streak.
The Hawks shot just 38.8 percent from the field, but managed to keep the game close until late. Atlanta began the fourth quarter trailing by one, but surrendered 31 points over the final 12 minutes.
"I thought we battled back and showed a lot of heart, but when we needed stops we weren't able to get it down," rookie guard Acie Law said.
Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson each had 23 points while Al Horford added 10 points and 10 rebounds. The game was the third in four nights for Atlanta.
"Guys were kind of tired after last night's game," Williams said. "We tried to bounce back as much as we could."
The Hawks will be without Horford on Friday as he serves a one-game suspension handed down by the league for his flagrant foul on Toronto's T.J. Ford on Tuesday. The center was ejected when he struck Ford on the head, knocking him down, as Ford was attempting a layup. Horford said he was just trying to block the shot.
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