The Hawks, who entered the contest two games up on the idle Knicks for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, trailed for most of the contest and lost to the slumping Pistons despite former Atlanta All- Star forward Josh Smith sitting out. Smith missed the tilt with knee tendinitis.
Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe recorded double-doubles in Smith's absence, while Rodney Stuckey took advantage of a rare start and poured in a game-high 29 points. Drummond went for 19 points and 17 rebounds and Monroe had 21 points and 13 boards.
The Pistons, who are 20 games below .500, won on the road for just the 12th time this season.
Paul Millsap led five Hawks in double figures with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague posted 15 points and nine assists and Kyle Korver hit four 4- pointers, including the 1,500th of his career, en route to 12 points.