Knicks 103, Pistons 80
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)
Playing his third game in four nights - with soreness all over his body - Carmelo Anthony made it through three quarters.
Then he had a chance to rest while the New York Knicks finished off a much-needed blowout.
Anthony scored 13 points, and the Knicks routed the Detroit Pistons 103-80 on Saturday night. Anthony was hit in the back late in Friday night's win over Washington, but he was able to play against the Pistons - although New York didn't need him to do all that much.
''My whole right side was kind of locked up. Last night when we got in, they unlocked my back,'' Anthony said. ''Then today it was my hip, then in the game it was my knee. It was kind of my whole right side. I can use this day off tomorrow.''
He was able to sit out the fourth quarter after the Knicks built a 29-point lead. Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points and Mike Bibby added 16.
New York led 64-42 at halftime.
''Tonight we came out from the jump, from the beginning,'' Anthony said. ''Tonight we put four quarters together.''
The Detroit fans had little to cheer about - except when highlights of Lions touchdowns from their playoff game in New Orleans were shown on the big screen. Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 19 points.
''This was very, very disappointing. Overall, this was just an unacceptable and extremely disappointing performance,'' Detroit coach Lawrence Frank said. ''Obviously, this is not representative of what we want to be.''
Bibby has 27 points in his last two games after scoring seven through New York's first six.
Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert made his first career start, replacing Toney Douglas. He finished with 11 points, including an alley-oop dunk late in the game that made it 99-73.
''I thought it went well,'' Shumpert said. ''We started off on the right foot and kept the energy up.''
New York led by just a point after the first quarter before breaking the game open in the second. With the score tied at 32, the Knicks went on a 26-4 run, highlighted by a one-handed dunk by Anthony over Detroit big man Greg Monroe that made it 52-35.
Moments later, Bibby made a 3-pointer to push the lead to 20, and he added another shot from long distance at the shot clock buzzer to make it 58-36.
Bibby led all scorers in the first half with 14 points, making all four of his 3-point attempts. Detroit gave the Knicks far too many extra chances in the half, turning the ball over 11 times and allowing nine offensive rebounds.
The Pistons finished with 20 turnovers. They've lost three straight by decisive margins. Chicago beat them by 16 before Philadelphia defeated Detroit 96-73 on Friday night.
New York was playing the second game of a back-to-back set as well, having edged Washington 99-96 the previous night.
The Pistons haven't been drawing well this season, although Saturday night's announced attendance of 12,044 was mitigated by the fact that the Lions were playing their first playoff game in a dozen years at the same time.
The area's basketball team has a ways to go if it's going to reach the postseason. The Pistons looked disoriented on defense throughout, allowing several easy dunks and doing little to slow the Knicks.
''This was a perfect example of how not to play our game,'' Detroit's Jonas Jerebko said. ''They play that up-and-down style, and once you make a couple mistakes, it really gets away from you in a hurry. That's how they like to play, and we let them get into it.''
After an alley-oop from Anthony to Tyson Chandler and a dunk by Stoudemire, New York led 79-53 in the third quarter. Josh Harrellson, the Knicks' 6-foot-10 rookie, added a 3-pointer to make it 82-55.
NOTES: Anthony was called for a technical foul in the third. ... Greg Monroe scored 15 points for the Pistons. ... The Knicks committed a defensive 3-second violation 15 seconds into the game.