Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in Atlanta. The Atlanta Hawks won the game 118-115. (AP Photo/Todd Kirkland)
Photo: Todd Kirkland/AP
Photo: Todd Kirkland/AP

Dedmon returns to starting lineup, lifts Hawks to victory

Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon returned to the starting lineup on Sunday against the Pistons. After Dedmon scored a career-high tying 20 points during the 118-115 Hawks victory, coach Mike Budenholzer said he planned to keep Dedmon as the starter. 

Dedmon was the starter to begin the season. When he suffered a stress fracture injury in late November, Miles Plumlee replaced him in the lineup and remained the starter when Dedmon returned on Jan. 8. 

Plumlee didn’t play against the Pistons. 

“I think we’ll probably stick with these starters and we’ll just see what we want to do with Miles,” Budenholzer said. 

Dedmon’s 20 points against the Pistons included a three-point play that put the Hawks ahead for good with 1:34 to play. He made a 3-pointer near the end of the shot clock for a 112-107 lead with 56 seconds left. Dedmon finished 7 of 9 from the field and had 13 rebounds and three steals. 

“Just trying to be aggressive, trying to change the game and do what I do,” Dedmon said.

The Hawks last summer signed Dedmon to a one-year contract with a player option. He’s on pace for career highs in minutes (23.4 per game), points (10.1) and rebounds (7.5).

The Hawks acquired Plumlee from the Hornets last summer as part of the Dwight Howard trade. He suffered a quadriceps injury during their first exhibition game and missed the first 19 games of the regular season. 

Budenholzer left Plumlee in the lineup when Dedmon returned from injury because he said he liked his defense and size. Plumlee has averaged 4.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per game. 

“I think he’s helped us,” Budenholzer said. “I think he’s improved since he’s been with us. He’s done a lot of things well. It’s a little strange — we’ve got everybody healthy. It’s a great blessing but sometimes it’s actually a curse. 

“He’s going to work every day in practice. He will be ready, I know that. I’ve been really happy with Miles and happy to keep working with him.”

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