The Union Recorder

Local Sports

December 27, 2012

Hawks edge Pistons in 2 OTs

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Hawks' penchant for going soft with a big lead nearly cost them another victory.

"We had things under control, but I think we got away from what was working for us," center Al Horford said. "They made plays. (Will) Bynum was great, and I think he was the one who that propelled them to tie the game. I'm just happy we won."

Josh Smith scored 31 points, Horford added 22 and the Hawks beat the Detroit Pistons 126-119 in double overtime on Wednesday night.

The Hawks blew a 22-point, fourth-quarter lead as Bynum and fellow reserve Charlie Villanueva scored a combined 26 of Detroit's 39 points in the final period of regulation.

Atlanta has won two straight and eight of 12. Detroit has lost seven of nine.

Bynum finished with 31 points, one less than his career high, and assisted on the last two baskets of regulation, when Andre Drummond's dunk cut the lead to two and Austin Daye's 3-pointer gave the Pistons a 101-100 lead with 4 seconds remaining.

Horford followed by making just one of two free throws for the Hawks to force the first overtime. His second attempt bounced off the rim and into Daye's hands.

"It was tough because I had the opportunity to put the game away," Horford said. "It was important for me to move on to the next phase of the game and play in overtime. That's what I did, and we responded well."

After Jeff Teague's two free throws tied it at 108-all for Atlanta at the 1:05 mark of the first overtime, neither team scored again until Lou Williams hit a pair of free throws to give the Hawks a 110-108 lead early in the second overtime.

Bynum gave Detroit its last lead at 112-110 at the 3:03 mark. Atlanta never trailed after Teague's 3 made it 113-112 with 2:46 remaining.

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