AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons wanted to have some momentum going into the All-Star break, but this is not what they had in mind. Atlanta's 99-95 win against the Pistons was Detroit's third consecutive loss.
"It's tough," Pistons coach Michael Curry said. "You definitely don't get to enjoy your break because of that. But guys look physically tired; they look mentally drained, so hopefully this can re-energize them."
Wednesday's loss had an familiar feel for the Pistons.
When it came time to grab a big rebound, the Pistons failed. When it came time to make a shot, the Pistons failed.
And when it came time to make a defensive stop, the Pistons failed.
They head into the All-Star break at 27-24 and searching for answers.
The problems Detroit has experienced seem to be even more troublesome at The Palace of Auburn Hills. With Wednesday's loss, Detroit has lost six of its past seven at home. The Pistons have lost 12 of their past 17.
"We haven't played well at home all season," Detroit's Tayshaun Prince said. "We play good at one point in the game, but for the most part, we're not putting together a 48-minute game."
Prince recalled similar struggles during Larry Brown's first season as the Pistons' coach.
"Eventually, we started playing some great Basketball," Prince said of the 2003-2004 NBA champion Pistons team. "Hopefully, we can end up playing good Basketball like we did that year."
Playing good Basketball has not been a problem for Detroit most of this season.
Sustaining that play has been the real issue.
Detroit had some good stretches of play in the first quarter against Atlanta, but former Piston Flip Murray finished the quarter with a 17-foot jumper that tied the score at 24.
The second quarter was just as tight as the first, and it was Murray once again delivering a last-second shot off the Hawks bench.
His floating jumper over Rasheed Wallace with 0.2 seconds to play in the second gave Atlanta a 48-46 halftime lead.
Murray finished with 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting.
"I just came out and tried to be aggressive, try to give us a spark off the bench," Murray said.
Leading the way for the Pistons was Allen Iverson, who had a game-high 28 points despite playing with flu-like symptoms.
Detroit's players are disappointed, but no one appears ready to panic.
"The whole thing is to stay positive, stay with each other and not point fingers or play the blame game," Iverson said.