Jennings, Pistons send Carmelo-less Knicks to 10th straight loss
Brandon Jennings kept the Detroit Pistons on a roll and the New York Knicks reeling.
Jennings scored 29 points and the Detroit Pistons extended the New York Knicks’ losing streak to 10 games with a 97-81 victory on Friday.
Jodie Meeks added 15 points, Greg Monroe and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each had 12. Andre Drummond finished with seven points and 20 rebounds.
It was a season-high fourth straight win for the Pistons.
"Is it sustainable?" Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I doubt we’ll go undefeated the rest of the way. But it is sustainable for us to play good basketball."
J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 22 points. Cole Aldrich added a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. No other Knick scored in double figures.
"If you don’t get offended by somebody scoring on you, then I don’t know what to tell you," Smith said. "That’s like somebody coming in your house and just taking your video game out of your hand and whatever and you just let it happen."
Carmelo Anthony, who leads the Knicks and is fifth in the NBA in scoring with 23.9 points per game, did not play due to a sore left knee and the Knicks offense struggled without him.
"I think it is a combination of offensively, as we continue to evolve, some offensive frustration," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. "Guys are not able to execute the things we do work on and things we know how to do. There is never one answer."
Jennings scored 16 points in the third quarter as the Pistons expanded their 57-38 halftime lead to 82-52 after three. He did not play in the fourth quarter.
"I just wanted to open up the game a little bit more in the third quarter, just give us a comfortable lead," Jennings said.
He had plenty of help from the Knicks, who didn’t score in that quarter until Pablo Prigioni hit two free throws with 8:01 left. They didn’t connect on their first field goal until Jose Calderon hit a foul-line jumper with 4:54 remaining.
Detroit increased its lead to a game-high 33 points at 87-54 on Jonas Jerebko’s 3-pointer with 10:49 remaining.
The Knicks never got closer than 16 the rest of the way.
"We have to play better," Calderon said. "I’m the point guard out there and I have to play better basketball. We all have to."
The Pistons only fell behind twice in the game, both times by two points in the first quarter. Down 15-13, Jennings hit a layup with 3:38 left to spark a 9-0 run and the Pistons never fell behind again.
"Nothing’s easy in this league," Drummond said. "We made shots and we got stops, and that’s what we’ve been able to do these last four games."
Pistons: The Pistons, who had a 13-game losing streak earlier this season, last won four in a row from Dec. 1-7, 2013. Detroit hasn’t won five straight since Dec. 4-12, 2009. . The Pistons also won the teams’ first matchup of the season 98-95 on Nov. 5 in Detroit. They have won four of the past five meetings.
Knicks: The franchise’s longest losing streak is 12 games (March 23-April 13, 1985). . The Knicks increased their team-record home losing streak to nine straight. . Amare Stoudemire (sore right knee), Samuel Dalembert (sprained right ankle), Tim Hardaway Jr. (concussion), and Iman Shumpert (dislocated left shoulder) also sat out for the Knicks.
The Pistons’ starting lineup on Friday — Kyle Singler, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Brandon Jennings — averages just 2.8 years of NBA experience and has an average age of 23.4 years old.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Only one of the five Knicks who took the court to start Friday’s game, Jose Calderon, had started more than six of the Knicks’ first 34 games this season (21). The other starters, Cole Aldrich (6), Jason Smith (6), J.R. Smith (6), and Pablo Prigioni (0) had combined for only 18.
Pistons: Host Sacramento on Sunday
Knicks: Host Milwaukee on Sunday