On Wednesday Night, at the Palace at Auburn Hills in Detroit, the Knicks (37-21) defeated the Detroit Pistons (23-40) 87-77. Box Score
Raymond Felton led the Knicks in scoring tonight with 26 points on 10-15 shooting from the floor. He was 4-5 from three with six rebounds, four assists and seven turnovers.
Amar’e Stoudemire came off the bench and tied a season high with 22 points on 8-12 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds in which six were of the offensive variety.
J.R. Smith scored 20 points off the bench on 7-22 shooting from the field which included going 4-11 from three. He added five assists, four steals and four rebounds.
The five Pistons starters tonight all scored in double figures and were led by Brandon Knight who had 17. Jose Calderon scored 10 points and had a game high 16 assists.
The Knicks starters outside of Raymond Felton combined to score 11 points on 4-10 shooting. Iman Shumpert had six rebounds. Tyson Chandler had a team high 11 rebounds and James White in only eight minutes had three assists.
Carmelo Anthony missed his eighth game of the season with an injury to his right knee. The Knicks are now 4-4 in those games.
Jason Kidd was a +24, and scored six points with six assists, five rebounds, three steals and a block.
The Knicks attempted 35 threes, making 13 while the Pistons took 20 and made only seven.
The Knicks bench outscored the Pistons bench 50-11
The Knicks turned it over a season high 20 times while the Pistons turned it over 19 times.
The Knicks out rebounded the Pistons 48-36 and have a 14-8 edge on the offensive glass.
Mike Woodson has now coached 82 games as Knicks coach and is 55-27
This was the Knicks seventh consecutive win and have won 11 of the past 12 over the Pistons.
If the Knicks played against almost any other team in the NBA like they did tonight, they would have been run out of the gym.
Turnovers, bad shot selection, lackadaisical defense and just an overall lethargy that probably had Mike Woodson ready to rip his beard off his face.
Then again, they were playing the lowly Detroit Pistons and so they won by 10.
Minus Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks were still head and shoulders better than the Pistons and with Greg Monroe not playing, it should have been even easier to get the win.
Sure the game got off to a slow start and they were turning the ball over like it was their job. But, they finally got it together, Amar’e was doing some serious work in the paint and it was 40-25 in the second. The game was looking like it was heading towards another Knicks blowout win over the Pistons.
But of course, the Knicks never make it easy. They let the Pistons end the 2nd and begin the third on a 31-8 run to go from 15 up to 10 down before you knew it. It was infuriating, annoying and stupefying to see the Pistons not only take a lead, but lead by 10.
Then Raymond Felton came to the rescue. Playing his best game since he torched the Miami Heat in December, Felton had his own personal 7-0 run to tie the game at the end of the third. Then a 16-0 run fueled by Felton and J.R. Smith in the fourth helped to put the game away, finally.
This was the kind of sloppy game that you can get away with against a team like Detroit. If there was a time for the Knicks, especially in the month of March, that they were going to have such a poor game turnover wise, they picked the right one to have it in.
I did like how Amar’e looked in the first half, that Felton shot with confidence and that Jason Kidd can make himself a presence on the floor without putting the ball in the basket.
A win over the Pistons doesn’t really tell you much, and the effort they were forced to put in tonight could affect them tomorrow against the Thunder. But, a win is a win.
The Knicks are 16 games over .500, won five of their last six and now are back in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference. The next two weeks against some of the best in the West will tell us quite a bit about the Knicks.
The gauntlet begins tomorrow and it’s going to an interesting next two weeks to say the least.
Coming up next the Knicks will head home and have to deal with both the weather and a team named after something involved with weather as they face Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The game is on Thursday at 8 pm and can be seen on TNT.