Five observations from Hawks’ 107-100 victory over the Pistons

Hawks guard Jeff Teague is fouled by Pistons guard Reggie Jackson on his way to the basket in a basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
Hawks guard Jeff Teague is fouled by Pistons guard Reggie Jackson on his way to the basket in a basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

The Pistons couldn’t get to Atlanta on Tuesday night because of fog.

They left the city in a haze.

The Hawks avenged a season-opening loss to the Pistons in a big way with a 107-100 victory Wednesday night at Philips Arena. They led by as many as 22 points before needing to hold on in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks (19-12) have won five consecutive and moved into second place in the Eastern Conference. They are a season-best seven games over .500. Just a week ago, the Hawks were in ninth place in the conference. The Hawks have scored over 100 points in each of the five games in the streak.

The Pistons (17-13) had a three-game win streak overall and a two-game win streak against the Hawks snapped. The Pistons had to stay overnight in Miami after Hartsfield-Jackson Airport closed Tuesday night. They flew to the city Wednesday morning.

Here are the key players and five observations on the game:

Three key players

Jeff Teague: The point guard finished with a team-high 23 points, nine assists and six rebounds.

Paul Millsap: The power forward finished with 18 points and five rebounds.

Al Horford: The center finished with 15 points and four rebounds.

Five observations

1. Teague dominates

Jeff Teague nearly had a triple-double in 32 minutes. He had nine points, four assists and four rebounds in the second quarter as the Hawks built a double-digit lead.

2. Hack-a-Drummond

The Hawks started the strategy of fouling Andre Drummond early — as in the first quarter. They fouled the Pistons center on three consecutive possessions in the opening period, from 2:10 to 1:22 when Drummond was substituted for. He was 3-of-6 from the line, including missing his first two attempts badly. The Hawks did it again in the second quarter, sending Drummond to the free-throw line for six more attempts. He made 2 of the 6 and exited the game with 5:44 left and did not return in the first half. The strategy continued in the third quarter, even with the Hawks up by 16 points. Drummond was fouled, gave a stare in coach Mike Budenholzer’s direction and missed twice. The strategy even continued in the fourth quarter with the Hawks leading by double-digits. He finished 7-of-18 from the line. He did have a game-high 25 points, 12 in the fourth quarter.

3. … And with Drummond out

After the Pistons took Drummond out in the second quarter, the Hawks went on a 19-7 run. They took a 61-45 advantage into the intermission, the fourth time they exceeded 60 points in a first half this season. Tiago Splitter scored eight points in the run, all with Drummond watching from the bench. Teague had six points in the run as he was able to penetrate.

4. Rebounding

The Hawks were beaten badly on the boards, 59-40, in the season-opening loss to the Pistons. Through the first two quarters Wednesday, they held a 28-26 advantage over the Pistons, who led 9-5 on the offensive glass. For the game, the Hawks were outrebounded by just a 46-42 margin.

5. Korver moving up the charts

Kyle Korver made a third-quarter 3-pointer and tied Rashard Lewis (1,787) for ninth on NBA/ABA all-time list. Chauncey Billups ranks eighth with 1,830.