The Pistons built an 18-point, second-half lead, then barely held
off the New York Knicks' furious rally before securing a 98-95 win
on Wednesday at The Palace.
Detroit (1-3) lost a league-high 14 games last season while carrying
a lead into the fourth quarter. The Pistons were up 15 with less
than five minutes remaining but allowed the Knicks to turn it into a
one-possession game in the closing seconds.
"We need to keep our focus coming down the stretch on both sides,"
said Pistons power forward Greg Monroe, who powered for a game-high
23 points and 18 rebounds. "They kind of turned up their offensive
intensity and then offensively we've got to stick to the things that
were working for us when we built the lead. Then the lead won't
break down like it did."
New York (2-3) finished the game on a 21-9 run despite a poor
shooting night from perennial All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.
Detroit's forward combination of Josh Smith and Caron Butler put the
clamps on Anthony, who missed his first nine shot attempts and
finished with 13 points on 5-of-21 shooting from the field.
"We had some bad fouls, we couldn't get a couple of rebounds and we
missed some free throws," Van Gundy said of his team's late
The Pistons (1-3), who were shooting 21.9 percent on 3-point
attempts, made 11-of-23 from long range. But they shot 17-for-47
(36.2 percent) inside the paint.
"We missed a lot of layups, a lot of shots right around the basket,"
Van Gundy said. "I wasn't happy we missed those, but you can't get
many more shots around the rim than we did tonight."
Shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell Pope supplied 20 points,
including four 3-pointers. Point guard Brandon Jennings and reserve
guard D.J. Augustin added 12 points apiece while reserve forward
Jonas Jerebko chipped in 11.
Backup shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr., whose father, Tim Hardaway,
is a Pistons assistant coach, had a team-high 20 points for New
York. Center Jason Smith contributed 17 while guard Iman Shumpert
and power forward Amar'e Stoudemire added 15 apiece.
Hardaway Jr. sparked the rally with 14 fourth-quarter points.
"It was just effort," he said. "We played with better effort in the
second half. I think my teammates feel the same way as well. We just
have to play that way the entire game."
Anthony's offensive futility put the Knicks in a 49-37 hole at
halftime. He missed all six of his field-goal attempts and didn't
get on the board until he made two free throws with 2:57 left in the
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"I thought early on he was trying to do the right thing and not
looking to attack too early; that's part of finding his balance,"
Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. "There will be some nights that are
Anthony missed his first three shot attempts in the third before
finally breaking through on a 12-foot jumper with 8:47 left in the
quarter. He made two more baskets during the quarter but the Pistons
lead continued to grow and reached 18 when Jerebko drained
consecutive 3-pointers to make it 75-57.
Stoudemire's three-point play and dunk brought the Knicks within
eight at 89-81. Hardaway Jr. soon went on a personal five-point run
to close the gap to 91-86.
Hardaway drilled a three in the final minute and Caldwell-Pope
missed two free throws, giving New York one last chance while
trailing by three. Shumpert made a free throw with two seconds
remaining and intentionally missed the second but New York couldn't
secure the rebound.
Knicks reserve point guard Pablo Prigioni sprained his right ankle
during the second quarter and did not return.
NOTES: New York was playing without two starters and a key reserve.
PG Jose Calderon (right calf strain) and PF Andrea Bargnani (right
hamstring strain) were injured, and SG J.R. Smith was suspended one
game by the league for striking Washington SG Glen Rice Jr. in the
groin on Tuesday. ... New York coach Derek Fisher said the
suspension came as a surprise, adding that every player has to be
more careful about their actions. "We talk to all of our players
about being smart on the floor, knowing the NBA is looking at
everything," he said. ... Pistons G/F Cartier Martin (right foot
strain) and F Gigi Datome (right hamstring strain) were inactive.
... New York F Carmelo Anthony was averaging 21.5 points and 4.9
rebounds against Detroit in 23 career games, his lowest against any
Eastern Conference opponent. ... The Pistons won the season series
last year 2-1, their first season series victory over the Knicks
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