Pistons 94, Knicks 90
Rodney Stuckey helped the Detroit Pistons win a pair of games in less than 24 hours.
In between, he spent some time at a local hospital.
After his eight points in overtime helped Detroit beat New Orleans on Friday night, Stuckey needed treatment for flulike symptoms and dehydration. On Saturday night, he had 20 points in 41 minutes as the Pistons held on to beat the New York Knicks 94-90.
``I didn't get home from the hospital until 4, because I needed IVs, but I had to fight through it,'' he said. ``When Ben Gordon and Will Bynum get back, maybe I'll get some rest, but right now, I have to keep going.''
Stuckey earned praise from his veteran teammates.
``That young man showed some guts tonight,'' Chucky Atkins said. ``He gave us 41 minutes after he was at the hospital at 3 a.m.''
It was Stuckey's teammates who looked like they were running out of gas late in the game. The Pistons led by 21 points in the third quarter and still had a 17-point lead going into the fourth, but let New York get as close as two in the final moments.
``I think we looked at the scoreboard going into the fourth and just waited for the time to run off,'' Detroit coach John Kuester said. ``That doesn't work in this league, especially against a team with shooters like Danilo Gallinari and Nate Robinson.''
Detroit, which also got 19 points from Charlie Villanueva, has won three straight after a 13-game losing streak. Chris Wilcox had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit.
``Charlie really gave us a spark, and Chris Wilcox put up those numbers in 16 minutes,'' Kuester said. ``If he can play that effectively on a regular basis, we'll have a heck of a ballplayer.''
David Lee narrowly missed a triple-double for the Knicks, finishing with 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists. Gallinari added 27 points for New York, but it wasn't enough to prevent a second straight loss and the fourth in five games.
``We had a lack of energy, a lack of focus and a lack of urgency,'' said New York coach Mike D'Antoni. ``We picked it up, obviously, at the start of the fourth quarter but it was too late. I don't think we came out with any kind of desire to win.''
The Pistons used a 16-2 second-quarter run to take a 51-37 lead at the half. Lee and Gallinari combined for 29 points for New York, but the rest of the Knicks hit just four of 22 shots.
The Pistons moved their advantage to as many as 21 in the third quarter, and still held a 77-60 lead going into the fourth.
``For them to come out and have the start they did, it shows that they haven't given up on the season,'' Knicks forward Jared Jeffries said. ``I don't know what is different for us. Decent teams bounce back and turn things around in a game or two, as opposed to the teams that let it linger for five to 10 games.''
Detroit started to struggle in the fourth after the previous night's overtime. The Pistons missed seven straight shots to allow the Knicks within 84-77 with five minutes left.
Gallinari's jumper made it a 90-87 game before Villanueva's miss gave the Knicks a chance to tie.
Robinson missed, and the officials used instant replay to rule that the rebound went out of bounds off the Knicks. Detroit then clinched the game from the line.
``We need to learn from this - that's for sure,'' D'Antoni said. ``We have to find some energy.''
NOTES: For the second straight night, the Pistons played without Tayshaun Prince (knee), Gordon (groin) and Bynum (ankle). ... Ben Wallace slowed Lee down on a third-quarter possession, blocking two of his shots in two seconds. ... Lee's nine assists matched a career high, set the previous night against Toronto.