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Detroit Pistons C Andre Drummond one assist shy of 1st triple-double

MORE ATLANTA — Andre Drummond probably would have passed on an alley-oop dunk just this once.

In the closing minutes of the 105-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday , the Detroit Pistons center executed a dribble handoff to Avery Bradley needing only one assist for his first career triple-double.

But Bradley saw the center rolling to the rim and threw the lob, which Drummond slammed home ferociously as the Pistons (15-13) were well on their way to ending a seven-game losing streak.

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On the next possession, Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy pulled Drummond and the starters at the 1:59 mark with a 17-point lead at Philips Arena.

Drummond finished with 12 points, 19 rebounds and a career-high nine assists.

Drummond admitted he was aware of the potential milestone and would have liked maybe one more possession to pull it off.

“Obviously, the flow of the game didn’t go that way, but it was a career night (for assists) and I’m pretty excited about that,” Drummond said.

Van Gundy said it was an easy call.

“You’re not trying to run it up,” Van Gundy said. “I’m not doing the try-to-get-a-guy-a-stat thing when you have another team that is down.”

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Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Avery Bradley shoots past Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond battles Atlanta Hawks forward DeAndre' Bembry and Luke Babbitt (8) in the second half Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Atlanta. John Bazemore, AP Fullscreen Detroit Pistons forward Anthony Tolliver battles Atlanta Hawks forward DeAndre' Bembry for position under the basket during the first half Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 in Atlanta. John Bazemore, AP Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Recording artist Jeezy performs at halftime of a game between the Atlanta Hawks and Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins scores over Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard in the first half Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 in Atlanta. John Bazemore, AP Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Eric Moreland shoots over Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore, left, and forward John Collins in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder drives against Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson in the first half Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 in Atlanta. John Bazemore, AP Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy during a game against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy reacts during the first half against the Atlanta Hawks in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Erik S. Lesser, EPA Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson shoots over Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore (24) and forward Taurean Prince in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Avery Bradley shoots against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Dec 14, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson signs autographs before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports Fullscreen Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries: Replay 1 of 13 2 of 13 3 of 13 4 of 13 5 of 13 6 of 13 7 of 13 8 of 13 9 of 13 10 of 13 11 of 13 12 of 13 13 of 13 Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide Next Slide And then there’s common sense.

“You leave a guy in there, under two minutes, to try to get some statistical thing and he gets hurt, I’m not going to forgive myself on that one,” Van Gundy said.

It made for a happy locker room for a team that finally was able to notch a victory this month.

After taking control in the second quarter, the Pistons broke the game open in the third in leading by as much as 24 points.

Van Gundy tweaked the offense, running more pick-and-rolls for Reggie Jackson and fewer dribble handoffs for Drummond, who was efficient with his chances with three turnovers.

“Call me Santa ’Dre,’ I’m handing out gifts,” Drummond said with a laugh.

“I’m just trying to move the ball around. I’m trying to get my teammates in the right position to score. When they do get cut off, they’re able to pass the back to me to finish the play. It’s just a fun way of playing.”

Van Gundy understands the significance of such milestones to players, but scoffed that it’s important in the overall picture.

“Those are sort of arbitrary things,” Van Gundy said. “That’s a pretty damn good night.

“Just because you don’t call it a triple-double? That’s pretty damn good night.”

On point When Ish Smith picked up three quick fouls in only 1:53 during the first quarter, Van Gundy was forced to play Langston Galloway at point guard.

Galloway responded with 17 points and three assists to go along with the second-best plus-minus (plus-16) on the team.

Galloway said he played more point guard in previous stops with the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings.

"I just came out with a lot of confidence, just help out wherever I can," Galloway said. "My coach trusts me and my team believes in me. I just got to go out there and make an impact in anyway can on the court."

CLOSE Pistons guard Langston Galloway after scoring 17 points on 5-for-8 from 3-point range and playing some emergency point guard in the 105-91 win over the Hawks on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press

Notes: Six Pistons scored in double figures. ... The Pistons dominated the glass (46-34) with 14 offensive rebounds. ... Ex-Piston Ersan Ilyasova scored a game-high 23 points for the Hawks.

Follow Vince Ellis on Twitter @vincent_ellis56 .

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