How it happened:
Fans desperately searching for the New York high octane offense were treated to a strong performance from the Knicks on Saturday night. New York streaked past Detroit in the second of its back-to-back set, posting a 103-80 victory to improve to 4-4 on the season. At the 8:23 mark of the second quarter, Iman Shumpert was forced to the bench after committing his third foul. The rookie earned the starting nod in place of veteran Toney Douglas and at this point the Knicks were clinging to a 35-33 lead. Amar’e Stoudemire drilled a 3-pointer then found space right down the lane for a one-handed tomahawk jam. The flood gates then effectively opened for the Knicks.
The squad built a huge lead behind crisp passing and ball movement, including a back-door pass from Stoudemire to Anthony for a huge dunk over Pistons center Greg Monroe. Mike Bibby jumped off the pine and scored 12 of his 14 first half points behind the arc while Shumpert was on the bench. The 23-6 run over a six-minute span showed the explosive potential of the New York offense and provided an easy road victory for the now surging Knicks.
The Knicks scored 50 points in the paint compared to Detroit's 32. New York also forced 21 Pistons turnovers in the Saturday night route.
Stoudemire has found his groove in the past two ball games and his aggressive nature fuels the team on both sides of the floor. Similar to the second quarter turnaround against the Wizards on Friday, Stoudemire jumpstarted the Knicks' offense by scoring 12 of his 22 points in the first half. In contrast to previous games, Stoudemire seems to catch the rock and take a direct line to the basket as opposed to sizing up the defense and waiting for the opposition to collapse. The adjustment has worked as he has utilized his superior quickness and strength for high percentage buckets. Stoudemire also snatched eight boards in 29 minutes of gametime. Before exiting for the evening, the Knicks All-Star smashed a dunk over Jason Maxiell to close the curtain on a highlight-filled game.
Shumpert’s play in the win over Washington on Friday night led to his start in tonight’s contest. The rookie replaced Douglas at the point guard spot and scored five points early in the first quarter. However, he was called for three fouls in the first half, leading to a spot on the bench while Bibby finished up the point guard duties. Shumpert returned poised for an impressive third quarter, slicing through the Pistons defense, finding open teammates deep in the paint for easy buckets. In the third quarter, Shumpert penetrated the lane on several occasions and just when the defense converged, he used a shovel no-look pass to an open Knick – terrific action from the 21-year old. The former Georgia Tech product finished with 11 points in the victory.
With a clean sweep on the two-game road trip, a jubilant Knicks squad heads back to New York. On Monday night, the team will seek revenge in a rematch against the Bobcats at Madison Square Garden.