The Hawks (24-18) had won 9 of 10 coming into the game, with five of the victories coming on the road. They played like it, too. It was Detroit's first game at the Palace since beating Charlotte on January 5.
Forward Tobias Harris supplied 19 points, including 15 during the first quarter, and Marcus Morris racked up 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. "My time is a little off because we've been over there for so long".
All Pistons starters scored in double figures, led by Reggie Jackson with 26 points.
Slow starts have been an issue, but the Pistons jumped to a 7-0 lead, which quickly ballooned to 21-8 at the 5:28 mark of the first quarter.
"I actually thought that was our best quarter of the year so far in terms of offense and defense combined", Van Gundy said.
Atlanta fell to 21-18 despite getting 21 points and eight rebounds from Paul Millsap. Dennis Schroder added 13 points and six assists, and Kris Humphries also chipped in 13 points.
Everybody seemed to be in a good offensive flow for Detroit, which shot 49.5 percent from the field. We couldn't match them tonight. "We weren't able to come back from that". Atlanta cut the deficit to 20 later in the period, but trailed 69-45 at halftime. "They were better than us in every phase of the game". "They were well-prepared. They executed defensively and offensively". "From start to finish, we played really well".
NOTES: The Hawks signed veteran G Gary Neal to a 10-day contract.
In exchange for Williams, the Hawks reacquired the rights to Cenk Akyol and a $2.2 million traded player exception, which they must use within the next year. Power forward Jon Leuer sat out for the fifth straight game with a bone bruise on his right knee, while shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed his third straight game with a left rotator cuff strain.
Detroit's 42-point first quarter was its highest-scoring quarter of the season. "We need to become a much better defensive team than we've been our last 20 games", coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Coming off our two wins, we have a lot of confidence, too, so I think it's going to be a great game".