After back-to-back tough losses on the road, the Knicks were in need of a win. What better than having the 3-10 Detroit Pistons up next on your schedule? The Knicks defeated the Pistons in today’s matinee game at Madison Square Garden by a score of 121-100. The Knicks scoring was led by Carmelo Anthony’s 29 points. The Knicks got double-doubles from Raymond Felton (14 points, 10 assists) and J.R. Smith (15 points, 10 rebounds). The Garden crowd was also treated to the return of Steve Novak’s “Discount Double Check” celebration as he poured in 18 points, going 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. The Pistons were led by Brandon Knight’s 21 point, five assist performance.
As he’s done in two of his previous three games, Anthony was unconscious in the first quarter. The NBA’s leader in first quarter scoring had 15 points in today’s opening period, missing just one of his seven field goal attempts. Both teams got off to nice starts, as the game was tied at 16 with 5:24 left in the period. Then, the Knicks used a 16-6 run to finish the quarter up 32-22, shooting 61% in the period.
The Pistons opened up the quarter on a 7-0 run to cut the Knicks lead down to three but thats as close as Detroit would get the rest of the game. The Knicks offense would wake up after the slow second quarter start and outscore the Pistons 32-15 the rest of the half. The Knicks bench trio of Smith, Rasheed Wallace and Novak combined to score 17 points in the period to pace the Knicks. The Knicks would take a 64-44 lead into halftime, shooting 54% in the half and connecting on 8-of-18 three-pointers. Anthony was the leading scorer for the Knicks at halftime with 21 points.
Just as they had done to start the second quarter, the Pistons began the third quarter on a run to get back into the game. This time, a 10-0 run cut the Knicks lead down to 10. Former Duke forward Kyle Singler had the hot hand for the Pistons, scoring 10 points in the quarter as he made all three of his shots. However, he was forced to the bench with 5:26 left in the quarter after picking up his fourth foul After their hot first quarter shooting, the Knick sunk to 27% in the third quarter. They did manage to outscore the Pistons 22-18 after the Pistons 10-0 run to maintain a 14-point lead at the end of the quarter.
The Pistons would cut the Knicks deficit to 10 points twice in the quarter but that was as close as they would get as the Knicks finally pulled away. Three-pointers reigned supreme for the Knicks, as the team drilled 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in the quarter. Wallace especially, enjoyed a great fourth quarter against his former team, scoring 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and making all three of his attempts from beyond the arc. The Knicks bench combined for 27 points in the quarter as the team recaptured their first half shooting, lighting it up at a 61% clip. Queens native Charlie Villanueva scored 14 points for the Pistons in the quarter but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Knicks outscored the Pistons 35-28 to finish up with the 21-point win.
- Maybe having his hometown Green Bay Packers fired up Novak in this game, as the forward seemed to find the shooting stroke he’s been missing for most of the season. After going 6-for-18 from beyond the arc in his last three games, Novak was 5-for-7 from three-point land today.
- After not registering a single rebound in the first half, Tyson Chandler ended the game with seven rebounds.
- The Knicks continue to bomb away from three-point land, connecting on 17-of-33 from beyond the arc. It is the fourth time since start of last season the Knicks have made at least 17 three-pointers.
- Maybe Coach Mike Woodson found Marcus Camby some practice time on the flight from Houston to New York. Camby played five minutes today, grabbing three rebounds.
- The shooting slump of J.R. Smith continues, as he has now shot just 16-of-48 in his last four games and just 5-of-19 from beyond the arc in his last five games. However, he filled up the stat sheet in other areas, grabbing a season high 10 rebounds and dishing out five assists.
- After committing eight turnovers in his past two games, Raymond Felton had none today to go along with his double-double of 14 points and 10 assists.