Pistons win 3rd straight, hand Knicks 15th straight loss, 120-103
DETROIT (AP) — Andre Drummond had 29 points and 20 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons handed New York its 15th straight loss, beating the Knicks 120-103 on Friday night.
The Knicks rallied from a 21-point second-quarter deficit, tying the game in the third quarter. But Detroit avoided a repeat of its collapse last weekend against the Los Angeles Clippers, when the Pistons lost after leading by 25.
Blake Griffin scored 26 points for the Pistons, who traded Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson in deadline deals but kept enough of their top players to make a postseason berth still plausible. Detroit began the day 1 ½ games out of a playoff spot.
The Knicks have lost 28 of their last 30, and they looked overmatched at the start against Detroit, falling behind 21-5. It was 41-22 after one quarter, and the Pistons led 63-54 at halftime. Drummond had 20 points in the break.
New York kept chipping away in the third, but Detroit eventually recovered, leading 89-84 after three and pushing the lead back to double digits relatively quickly in the fourth.
Dennis Smith Jr. scored 31 points for the Knicks.
The Pistons acquired Thon Maker and Svi Mykhailiuk in their trades. Both played sparingly Friday. Maker was scoreless and Mykhailiuk made a 3-pointer.
Knicks: New York has been without Emmanuel Mudiay (strained left shoulder) and Frank Ntilikina (sore groin).
Pistons: Detroit has won three straight since blowing the big lead against the Clippers. … It was a league-high ninth 20-20 game for Drummond this season and his 29th overall. Since the 1988-89 season, only Dwight Howard (51) and Shaquille O’Neal (34) have more.
Knicks: Host Toronto on Saturday night.
Pistons: Host Washington on Monday night.