ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks picked up Tuesday where they left off in the Eastern Conference finals.
Hardly looking like the team that went 60-22 last season, the Hawks were dominated on the boards and struggled to find their offensive rhythm in a surprising 106-94 loss to the Detroit Pistons on opening night in the NBA.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points to lead all five Detroit starters in double figures, while Andre Drummond pulled down 19 rebounds to lead a commanding 59-40 edge. The Hawks fell behind by as many as 19 and couldn’t rally even when the Pistons missed 20 of their final 22 shots from the field.
“They were very good tonight. We weren’t,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. “We get to go to work tomorrow.”
The Pistons, who haven’t had a winning season since 2008 and finished 28 games behind the East-leading Hawks a year ago, began to pull away just before halftime. They led by double figures through most of…