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Knicks Handle Detroit Saturday Night

NEW YORK CITY, NY – The New York Knicks since changing coaching roles from Derek Fisher to Kurt Rambis, have still struggled to win games. New York has posted just a 2-7 record under Rambis coming into Saturday night’s contest against the Detroit Pistons (31-30). Poor defensive efforts and late game offensive struggles have contributed to the losing.

To start the game, Aaron Afflalo had the hot hand. Afflalo went 5 for 5 from the field for 11 points in the first quarter. New York as a team shot well (47%) in the first quarter, and played well defensively to take a 22-21 lead at the end of the quarter. Detroit only shot 34% in the first quarter, however Tobias Harris (six points, six rebounds) and Andre Drummond (eight points, three rebounds) kept the Pistons close.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Harris had a solid game for Detroit Saturday night.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Harris had a solid game for Detroit Saturday night.

The second quarter is where the Knicks broke the game wide open. New York outscored the Pistons 35-21, to end the second quarter. Robin Lopez and Carmelo Anthony started heating up along with Afflalo. The Knicks led 57-42 at the end of the first half, and did damage on the interior. New York scored 26 points in the paint, and really looked to be making a concerted effort to attack the rim.

New York showed signs of falling into bad defensive habits in the third quarter. The Knicks allowed Drummond and Harris to score from the interior. Detroit as a team scored 16 of its 28 third quarter points from the paint, to get back into the ball game. Steve Blake also contributed to the comeback with six points, all coming from downtown. New York would still lead 79-70 at the end of three, and Derrick Williams started to get involved offensively. Williams had eight third quarter points.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Blake in 19 minutes gave Detroit 13 points off the bench.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Blake in 19 minutes gave Detroit 13 points off the bench.

The fourth quarter is where New York has had problems closing games. New York this time continued getting high percentage shots and staying solid defensively to pick up a much needed, 102-89 victory at Madison Square Garden. Anthony recorded his 21st double double of the season with 24 points, 10 rebounds and added six assists. Robin Lopez (21 points) fell just a rebound shy of a double double. Afflalo tallied 20 points, which for the first time this season gave the Knicks 3 starters with 20+ points.

The Knick defense looked great, especially considering that New York lost a heart breaker in Boston against the Boston Celtics the night before. Before Saturday night, the Knicks had a 5-8 record in the second game of back-to-backs.

New York also out-rebounded Detroit 47-42 on the glass. It’s important to win the rebound battle because you need rebounds to get stops. The Knicks have prevented themselves from winning close ball games this season, from their inability to get stops.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Anthony along with the rest of the Knicks attacked the rim Saturday night.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) Anthony along with the rest of the Knicks attacked the rim Saturday night.

New York will go on a six game Western Conference road trip, starting Tuesday night against the Denver Nuggets. This will be the final meeting of the season between the two teams, and the season series is tied at 1-1.

Stats Of The Game: 

  • Kyle O’Quinn scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.
  • Kristaps Porzingis sat out Saturday night due to a bruised lower left leg. His return for Tuesday was not ruled out, as Rambis joked about Porzingis’ youth as a cause to a quick recovery time.
  • The Knicks led by as many as 21 points in this game.
  • New York finished the game shooting 53%. The Knicks have a 9-3 record when shooting over 50%.
  • The Knicks are now 21-8, when they have scored over 100 points.
(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) O'Quinn may have earned himself more minutes Saturday night.

(Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY) O’Quinn may have earned himself more minutes Saturday night.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

 

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