With the game on the line, Detroit's Tayshaun Prince drove toward the basket and made a tough 8-foot shot with his left hand. Then at the other end, Rodney Stuckey hounded Atlanta's Joe Johnson and forced a missed shot in the final seconds.
In late January, Detroit failed to hold off the Hawks in a similar situation, but the Pistons have made a lot of strides since then.
"We're learning how to fight through turbulence," Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. "It could have been deja vu all over again ... and yet we hung in there."
Prince's shot with 24.3 seconds remaining gave the Pistons an 86-85 win over the Hawks on Friday night -- and a measure of revenge after Detroit blew a six-point lead with under 40 seconds remaining against Atlanta in January. The Pistons lost that game in overtime, but held on in this one when Johnson missed on the Hawks' last possession.