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Knicks 121, Pistons 100

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Fresh off their only back-to-back losses of the season, as well as a humbling assault on the defense they've prided themselves in this year, the New York Knicks enjoyed a relatively stress-free afternoon Sunday.

The Knicks took their first lead midway through the first quarter and never relinquished it in a 121-100 win over the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden.

Carmelo Anthony again led the Knicks on the scoreboard, with 29 points, after starting off with a scorching hand by putting up 15 in the first quarter. But it was a well-balanced effort for the Knicks, who had six players reach double figures.

Raymond Felton added 14 points and again fed his teammates often, with 10 assists. Steve Novak was on target from outside, drilling important 3-pointers when the Pistons tried to get back in the game with a run in the third quarter and scoring 18 points.

Rasheed Wallace, thought to be a key inside against Pistons center Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, proved more valuable from outside, hitting three 3-pointers while scoring 15 points.

Detroit (3-11), which had entered the game feeling a little better about itself with two wins in its past three contests, found itself starting at a double-digit deficit for most of the day.

Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 21 points, while Kyle Singler had 16 and Greg Monroe 12.

The Knicks gave up at least 100 points for the third straight game, but it was a far cry from Friday night's 131-103 loss to the Houston Rockets.

New York fell behind 4-0, but rode Anthony's hot hand to a 32-22 point lead at the end of the first quarter.

They would finish out the game with a similarly strong fourth quarter, expanding a 14-point lead by outscoring the Pistons, 35-28.

The Pistons used a couple of spurts to cut into a 20-point halftime deficit in the third quarter.

Detroit opened the third quarter on a 13-3 run, thanks largely to five points from Singler to cut the Knicks' lead to 67-57 with 8:18 left in the third.

They got the lead down to eight, 77-69, on a layup by Knight with three minutes left in the third. But New York quickly answered, thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Novak and three points by Anthony during a 9-3 stretch to end the third quarter up 86-72.

With Anthony hitting his first six shots from the field and scoring 15 points in the first quarter and scoring 21 before intermission, the Knicks built a 64-44 halftime lead.

Felton led a 10-4 spurt before halftime by scoring six points as the Knicks opened up the 20-point advantage.

J.R. Smith added nine points and five rebounds while Monroe led the Pistons with eight points before the break.

NOTES: Monroe reached a pair of milestones Sunday. He passed the 2,000-point mark for his career and also registered his 200th career steal. ... Wallace returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game with a sore left foot. ... Knicks center Marcus Camby, who did not play Friday, was back in the rotation Sunday to help combat some of the Pistons' size.
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