Monroe leads Pistons past Knicks 98-95 for 1st win
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) Greg Monroe had 23 points and 18 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons held off the New York Knicks 98-95 Wednesday night for their first win of the season.
The Pistons (1-3) went 1 for 17 on 3-pointers in Sunday’s loss to Brooklyn, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit their first three attempts against New York, and they ended up with a season-high 11.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20 points for the Knicks (2-3), who lost at home to Washington on Tuesday night. They were facing a rested Detroit team that had two days off before the game.
Carmelo Anthony had only 13 points on 5-of-21 shooting for New York.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy had Andre Drummond, Josh Smith and Monroe in the starting lineup against New York’s big frontcourt. It caused some spacing problems on offense – the trio went 13 for 44 from the floor – but Detroit dominated the glass on its way to a 49-37 halftime lead.
Smith also kept Anthony in check. The star forward missed his first nine shots and didn’t score until the final minutes of the second quarter.
Jason Smith’s 17 points in the half kept New York in the game, but the Pistons pulled away behind a barrage of 3-pointers in the third, including two straight by Jonas Jerebko to make it 75-59 at the end of the third.
The Knicks rallied in the fourth, thanks to 14 points from Hardaway, and pulled to 94-90 on Anthony’s jumper with 35 seconds left. Monroe hit one of two free throws, and Anthony did the same.
Caldwell-Pope gave the Knicks a last chance when he missed two free throws with 6.5 seconds left, but New York wasn’t able to grab the ball after Iman Shumpert intentionally missed his second shot from the line.
New York: J.R. Smith was suspended for the game after elbowing Washington’s Glen Rice Jr. in the groin Tuesday night. . With Jose Calderon (calf) sidelined and Pablo Prigioni leaving the game early with an ankle injury, the Knicks spent most of the night with Shane Larkin as their only healthy point guard.
Detroit: Josh Smith went 2 for 13 in the first half, including having dunks blocked by both Jason Smith and Cole Aldrich. . Drummond, who has been in foul trouble in each of Detroit’s four games, knocked over a chair on the bench after being called for his fourth with 4:58 left in the third quarter.
New York: Friday at Brooklyn.
Detroit: Home on Friday vs. Milwaukee.