Jalen Johnson’s triple-double leads Hawks past Pistons

Jalen Johnson recorded the first triple-double of his career and the Atlanta Hawks clinched a spot in the play-in tournament with a 121-113 win over the visiting Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

Johnson scored a career-high-tying 28 points on 10-for-14 shooting while grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out a career-high 11 assists. It is the first triple-double by an Atlanta player this season. Johnson also had four steals and one block.

Dejounte Murray was the last Hawk to record a triple-double, doing so on Nov. 5, 2022.

The Pistons (13-63) stayed close because of a 50-point performance by Malachi Flynn. He was 18-for-25 from the field, hitting five 3-pointers, and set a franchise record for most points scored by a reserve.

The Hawks (36-40), winners of six of their past seven games, moved into a tie with the idle Chicago Bulls for ninth place in the Eastern Conference. The victory gave Atlanta a three-game sweep of the season series with the Pistons and extended their winning streak vs. Detroit to seven games.

Atlanta also got 26 points and seven rebounds from De’Andre Hunter, and Murray had 24 points and 11 assists. Clint Capela also had a double-double with 11 points and 16 boards.

Detroit received 11 points from Jalen Duren, who returned after missing most of the Pistons’ previous game following a head-on collision that knocked out a tooth. Detroit played without leading scorer Cade Cunningham (left knee injury management), who scored 43 points against the Hawks on Dec. 18.

The Hawks raced out to a quick 9-2 lead but could not shake the NBA-worst Pistons. Detroit was able to tie the game at 23-all, only to have Atlanta score the last five points of the first quarter for a 28-23 lead. The Hawks ended the second quarter on an 18-8 run to take a 59-50 lead into the break.

When Hunter converted a layup with 8:43 to go in the third quarter, Atlanta was up 70-55, and the Hawks took a 92-79 cushion into the fourth.

Flynn got the Pistons within five with 30.7 seconds remaining, but Detroit never found a way to move ahead.

–Field Level Media