NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 10:05 PM
Carmelo Anthony provides the spark for the Knicks in Tuesday’s win over the Pistons.
The Knicks came back home following a disappointing road trip on a bit of a tailspin, with perhaps more of a need than ever this season to get a positive result and shift the narrative.
They had been defeated by four straight teams probably headed to the playoffs, teams the Knicks are competing against in their chase for one of the final spots in the Eastern Conference.
The Pistons (17-15) on Tuesday represented their fifth straight opponent to fall into that category. And the Knicks (15-18) finally took care of business. Behind a strong balanced effort from Carmelo Anthony and a fourth-quarter surge from Derrick Williams, the Knicks ran away from the Pistons, 108-96, to snap their losing streak.
Andre Drummond led Anthony in the first returns of the All-Star voting announced on Christmas, but the Detroit center was neutralized by New York’s front line of Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis, finishing with 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting and nine boards. Anthony, who lobbied his fans for All-Star votes last week, outplayed his competition with 24 points on 24 shots with six assists and six boards.
Derrick Williams (r.) gets hot in the fourth quarter to help seal the deal for the Knicks vs. Detroit.
The Knicks took control in the third quarter, despite some uneven play, with Anthony’s buzzer-beating jumper from the baseline giving them a 79-72 lead. Detroit cut into that a little, but the Knicks started their game-breaking 21-8 run with 8:33 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The highlight was a reverse jam from Williams about midway through the fourth, when he cut backdoor, received a pass from Langston Galloway and soared to the rim – seemingly all in one athletic motion.
Williams, who was allegedly robbed this month of $ 750,000 worth of jewelry by women he allowed into his home, played all but 28 seconds of fourth quarter while Porzingis sat, scoring 16 of his 18 points during that stretch. It was another instance where coach Derek Fisher decided to keep his prized rookie on the bench during crunch time. This time, the Garden crowd didn’t chant his name.
Robin Lopez neutralizes Andre Drummond all night, including this blocked shot.
Van Gundy threw up the white flag by taking out most of his starters with about 2:30 remaining. Porzingis played just 19 minutes and finished with 10 points with two rebounds. Jose Calderon bounced back from a dreadful night in Boston two days prior to score 15 points on six shots. Kyle O’Quinn scored 12 points in 11 minutes as a reserve.
Detroit had four players in double digits, but the big story for the Pistons was the return of Brandon Jennings, who played his first game in nearly a year because of a ruptured Achilles heel.
The Knicks and Pistons played about even for the first half, with New York taking a one-point advantage into the locker room while neutralizing Drummond. Detroit’s center had just four points and three boards in the opening two quarters.
The Knicks still have five more consecutive games against teams with winning records, including the Bulls on New Year’s Day.