KNICKS 121 PISTONS 100 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
After back-to-back defeats on the road, the Knicks received a little home cooking at MSG with a 121-100 victory over the Pistons on Sunday afternoon.
Detroit put together a 7-0 run to start the second quarter but New York quickly gained separation with some impressive plays. J.R. Smith grabbed an offensive board and dished to Steve Novak for a 3-pointer, Jason Kidd found Raymond Felton for a back-door layup, and Felton returned the favor with a shovel pass to Kidd in the corner where he knocked down the 3-ball. In addition to these momentum changing buckets, Carmelo Anthony scored 21 of his game-high 29 points in the first half as New York reeled off a 24-10 run before the break.
The Pistons knocked down the Knicks 20-point lead to less than 10 points a couple of times in the third quarter. The home squad continued to apply pressure in search of its fifth win at the Garden. Steve Novak hit timely treys with under two minutes left in the period and Anthony connected on a driving bucket to extend the lead to 14 points heading into the final frame.
Smith was a major contributor outside of the scoring column on Sunday. This was evident on a crucial play when he recorded a steal on the defensive side of the floor and dropped a no-look dime to Tyson Chandler in the open floor for the two-handed flush. At that point, New York’s lead ballooned to 17 points and effectively ended any comeback attempt from the Pistons.
Smith grabbed 10 boards and dished out five assists in 31 minutes off the bench along with 15 points. Novak posted 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the 3-point line, and Felton finished with a double-double, 14 points and 10 assists in the win.
The Knicks improved to 9-3 on the season while Detroit fell to 3-11 in the defeat.
“With the lack of practices and games, we just had to get back to trusting one another on the defensive end and we did that. Today we got back to it and we want to keep doing that.” -- Carmelo Anthony
Once again, Anthony was efficient in a prolific scoring performance. As mentioned above, he scored 21 first half points, recorded 29 in the game, and shot 55 percent from the floor. The power forward showed his range as well, drilling 4-of-5 shots from downtown to lead the Knicks to a bounce back home victory.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Knicks are only one of three teams to hold an undefeated record at home. New York is 5-0 at MSG while the Heat and Jazz are the two other squads with unblemished home records.
In another back-to-back contest, the Knicks will make the short trip to Brooklyn for a 7 PM contest against the Nets on Monday night. The game is a make-up for the cancellation that occurred on opening night due to Hurricane Sandy.