Knicks Close Strong, Top Pistons At O2 In London

Jonah Ballow



How it happened:
The Knicks looked quite comfortable abroad as they closed strong to earn a 102-87 victory over the Pistons at the O2 Arena in London on Thursday.

After Detroit scored the first bucket of the game, New York rolled on a 13-0 run and built a 22-10 lead in late stages of the first frame. Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the first half to pace a Knicks team that improved to 25-13 on the season.

As a team, New York drilled five of its first eight long bombs and the “road” club shot a blistering 61.1 percent from the floor in an impressive first quarter.

The Knicks had to deal with some adversity despite the strong start to the contest. New York managed to hold off a Detroit squad that had won seven of its last 10 games. The Pistons cut the deficit to just six points prior to the Knicks posting an 8-2 spurt to finish the third period while the lead grew back to double digits.

A Tyson Chandler two-handed dunk and a Steve Novak shot from downtown pushed New York’s lead to 92-75 and the team finished off Detroit on the global stage.

Iman Shupert made his highly anticipated 2012-13 debut on Thursday. Head coach Mike Woodson placed him in the starting lineup next to Jason Kidd in the backcourt. The shooting guard hit his first shot from downtown and racked up five more points in the third quarter. On one baseline drive, Shumpert elevated and attempted a monster one-handed poster dunk. He was fouled on the play but showed all the fans back in NYC that he has not lost any athleticism due to the knee injury. Shumpert registered eight points and two rebounds in under 15 minutes of action.

Amar’e Stoudemire worked hard for his 17 points, reaching the free throw line 12 times while hitting 11. Chandler recorded another double-double with 10 points and 14 boards in 30 minutes. Novak connected on three bombs from long distance and J.R. Smith added 16 points off the pine.

Knick of the Night:
Anthony scored 26 points in a performance that has become part of the norm for the Knicks. He hit 8-of-19 shots from the floor and 7-of-9 at the charity stripe. As a willing passer out of double teams, Anthony dropped four dimes as well.

Statistically Speaking:
The Knicks took care of business on the glass by outrebounding the Pistons 44-36 in the victory.

Looking Ahead:
The Knicks will stay the night in London and board a plane on Friday back to New York. The squad will have some time to recuperate from the eight-hour flight before facing the Nets on Monday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

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