The New York Knicks are on the verge of their second 10-game losing streak of the season. While the Detroit Pistons can certainly relate, their current form might make their own struggles feel more than a few weeks in the past.
Stan Van Gundy’s team will try to extend its season-best run to four wins Friday night at Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks are mired in the longest home losing streak in franchise history.
Detroit (8-23) won 109-86 on Tuesday in Orlando and is beginning to click offensively, averaging 110.3 points while shooting 48.7 percent on the three-game winning streak and scoring at least 100 in six straight.
The perimeter game has been a big part of the streak with a 45.6-percent mark from 3-point range. Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 34 points off the bench Tuesday, making a career-high nine 3-pointers on 11 attempts.
"I just took what was open," Meeks said. "Tonight it was me, but … this is how the offense is supposed to be run. Maybe we had success one game and now we’re going to do it. We’re playing well right now."
Meeks didn’t make his Detroit debut until Dec. 12, missing 22 games with a stress reaction in his back, and it took him some time to settle in. In his first five games, he averaged 10.2 points and shot 33.3 percent. In his last four, he’s doubled his field goal percentage (66.7) while averaging 18.5 points.
"Nobody is going to play like that very often," Van Gundy said of the big night. "… But Jodie can score; there is no question about it."
Andre Drummond finished with 17 points and 22 rebounds in 31 minutes. Nine rebounds came on the offensive end, and he’s averaging 8.0 per game in his last four.
"He is such a quick jumper," Van Gundy said. "He gets back up very very quickly."
The team turnaround coincides with Meeks taking the court, going 5-4 with him immediately after a 13-game losing streak.
The Knicks (5-29) don’t seem to have any such savior on the way, and top scorer Carmelo Anthony isn’t showing signs of being at 100 percent anytime soon.
After Wednesday’s 99-78 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Knicks are 1-19 dating to Nov. 24 and return home having lost a team-record eight straight at MSG.
A three-game West Coast trip ended in particularly embarrassing fashion with New York failing to reach 80 points in the last two games while shooting 35.6 percent.
"I’ve never been 5-29," said Anthony, who shot 37.5 percent in those two contests. "It’s getting testing not to get frustrated and it’s tough to keep a smile on my face."
Anthony, who has led his team in scoring 24 times this season, said he’s continuing to play through pain in his right knee.
"Tonight wasn’t so bad, but I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring," he said after the loss to the Clippers. "Every day is different."
New York got J.R. Smith and Andrea Bargnani back against the Clippers, but the duo was a combined 7 of 21. Smith had missed 10 games with a torn plantar fascia, and Bargnani was making his season debut after dealing with hamstring and calf injuries.
The Pistons won the first matchup of the season 98-95 on Nov. 5 in Detroit for their third win in the last four meetings despite shooting 36.8 percent. Detroit’s Greg Monroe had 23 points and 18 rebounds. Anthony was 5 of 21 for 13 points.