AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown
wasn't looking forward to coaching against two of his assistants
from last year's title-winning team, Atlanta head coach Mike
Woodson and his older brother, Hawks assistant Herb Brown.
He had no idea how bad it was going to get.
Woodson and Herb Brown got their championship rings in a
pre-game ceremony, then led the Hawks to a stunning 88-72 win over
"I hate games like this, because I miss those two guys every
day, and now I have to go against them," Larry Brown said before
The Hawks, who led by as many as 29, won for just the second
time in 12 games and held Detroit to a franchise record for fewest
points in a home game.
"It is tough coaching against Larry, because he has meant so
much to my career, and I know he hates coaching against his old
assistants," Woodson said. "But this was a great win for us."
"We think we can just go out and play any way, take any shot
and everything's going to be OK," Larry Brown said. "You get
exposed when you don't have your big guys to bail you out."
Tony Delk and Predrag Drobnjak had 16 points each for Atlanta,
which won its second in three games after losing nine in a row.
"We are playing really good defense right now," Drobnjak said.
"We just need to keep this up."
Richard Hamilton led all scorers with 24, but the rest of the
Pistons combined to shoot just 29.6 percent (16-for-54).
"I've been here for two years, and I haven't seen anything
worse than that," Chauncey Billups said.
The Hawks replaced point guard Kenny Anderson in the starting
lineup with 6-foot-9 rookie Josh Smith, and Boris Diaw was
Atlanta's shortest starter at 6-foot-8. The big lineup paid
immediate dividends, as Smith blocked three shots in the first
quarter and the Hawks shot 66.7 percent on their way to a 32-20
"That was a whole lot of fun," said Smith, who was making his
first NBA start. "It was a special night to beat the champs, but
we can't dwell on it."
Things didn't get any better for the defending NBA champions in
the second quarter as Atlanta shot 62.5 percent and held the
Pistons to just 4-for-17 shooting from the field. The Hawks led
56-38 at intermission, getting 12 points off the bench from
Atlanta removed any hopes of a Pistons' rally by moving the lead
to 68-40 at the midpoint of the third quarter. Smith, who turned 19
this week, punctuated the rout with two spectacular dunks early in
"You cannot teach what that young man has," Delk said. "You
have to be born with it. He was unbelievable."
Smith finished with career-highs of 12 points and four blocks.
"I needed to shake things up a bit, and Josh deserved a shot,"
Woodson said. "He's a phenomenal athlete, and he was wonderful
The Hawks got halfcourt buzzer-beating shots in each of the
first two quarters -- by Delk at the end of the first and Antoine
Walker in the second. ... Pistons rookie Carlos Delfino did not
play in the second half after straining his knee, and is expected
to go on the injured list. ... Detroit had scored 72 points three
other times at home, most recently Dec. 12, 2003 against Seattle.
... Smith played a career-high 27 minutes.