Pistons
Knicks
92 - 104 Final
  for this game

Knicks start fast, upend Pistons

Dec 7, 2008 - 8:53 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- An early start proved to be no problem for the New York Knicks until the fourth quarter.

Chris Duhon scored 25 points as the Knicks used a quick start before holding on for a 104-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Quentin Richardson added 23 points for the Knicks, who scored the first 10 points of the game. New York went up by 17 after one, led by as many as 29 in the first half and 22 at halftime before nearly blowing it.

"I thought we got sloppy," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "A couple of times we designed a couple of things and guys weren't quite in the right positions. You know it happens. I think if you watch a thousand NBA games it happens a lot of times."

Al Harrington netted 18 points, Wilson Chandler chipped in 17 and David Lee pulled down 19 rebounds for the Knicks, who shot under 47 percent (35-of-75) and outrebounded the Pistons, 51-36.

Tayshuan Prince scored 23 points for the Pistons while Allen Iverson and Arron Afflalo added 17 apiece. Richard Hamilton contributed 16 before being ejected early in the fourth. Despite Hamilton's ejection, the Pistons were able to rally in the fourth.

"We didn't play with the level of effort, focus and intensity we needed to start a game with," Pistons coach Michael Curry said.

They opened the fourth on a 21-8 run, getting within 89-84 on Prince's short jumper with 5:43 remaining. Detroit kept hanging around and was within 96-90 with less than two minutes remaining but Prince missed a wide-open three and Harrington drained a 3-pointer with 81 seconds left to seal it.

"That felt great," said Harrington, who passed up a wide-open three in the final seconds Friday in Atlanta. "It felt like that was the nail in the coffin. I was happy to make that shot."

"Usually nine times out of 10, that's how it happens," Prince said. "You get down so much, you come in at halftime and try and get back in the game. You work your way back and you get the confidence and energy to make it a game. Usually late in the game, they'll hit

you with a couple of daggers and that's what happened,".

The quick start and ability to stave off a collapse resulted in New York's first win since scoring 138 against Golden State on November 29 and led to just its third win in nine games since trading Jamal Crawford and Zach Randolph.

"We just needed a win," Duhon said. "We have lost a couple of games in a row and we have to start feeling about ourselves."

It also was not the first time the Knicks have nearly blown a big lead. They led by 23 in their home opener before beating by Miami by five, then held a 30-point advantage before posting a 10-point victory over Oklahoma City on November 14.

"We're looking to find a rhythm executing down the stretch. A lot of it is going to be dictated on how the defense plays our stuff," Lee said. "Tonight they decided to play the roll on the pick-and-roll.That sent everybody into the paint and we were able to find guys for threes."

The Pistons also continued to have problems on Sunday. Their inability to wake up for the noon start dropped them to 0-5 on Sundays and was their second blowout loss to an inferior opponent.

Detroit's late charge avoid a repeat of their first its first visit here last season when it scored a franchise-record 65 points. The Pistons were unable to shake off missing their

first seven shots and finished the contest by misfiring on nine of their final 11 attempts.

"It is tough because regardless of how well you play, the one thing you can always do every night is play hard," Iverson said. "There is no excuse for that."

After falling by three Friday in Atlanta, the Knicks led by double digits for most of the game following a free throw by Tim Thomas with 5:25 remaining in the first. They opened a 58-29 cushion on Harrington's 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining in the second and took a 65-43 lead into the locker room.

"As a team we weren't ready to start this game," Curry said.