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Knicks 99, Pistons 85

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points and Tyson Chandler tied a franchise record by grabbing 20 rebounds in his third straight game as the New York Knicks finished off an undefeated home stand with a 99-85 win over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Amar'e Stoudemire had 20 points and J.R. Smith added 16 for the Knicks (31-15), who went 5-0 on their home stand, putting themselves within percentage points of the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Pistons guard Jose Calderon, who had been unable to practice with or play for Detroit since his acquisition last week in a three-team trade due to visa issues, was cleared Monday afternoon. He scored 15 points and had three assists in 27 minutes in his Pistons debut as Detroit (31-15) lost for the fourth time in its past five games. Rodney Stuckey had 14 points for the Pistons.

The Knicks, who have been inconsistent on defense and prone to slow starts this season, have recently showed again how they've approached the top of the conference. New York has played more complete games on the home stand, and it started strong against the struggling Pistons and never really let Detroit get in the game.

With Anthony scoring nine points and Iman Shumpert five early in the first quarter, the Knicks jumped out to a 20-6 lead and never looked back.

As they had in their rout of the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, the Knicks busted the game open in the second quarter expanding their lead to 57-31 at the break with a 20-10 run.

Thanks to a 9-0 run sparked by six points from Stuckey, Detroit closed within 12 points late in the fourth quarter, the first time the deficit had been that small since late in the first quarter.

But the Knicks quickly responded, as Smith and Steve Novak hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Knicks a 91-75 lead with 3:18 to play.

The Knicks again offered an impressive barrage from 3-point range, hitting 50 percent from there in the first half, before cooling off in the second.

Anthony had 19 points at the break, hitting 3 of 4 from long distance, to lead the Knicks.

Calderon tried to adjust quickly to life with his new team, scoring 11 points in the first half, though he did not have an assist before the break.

Notes: Knicks forward Rasheed Wallace, who hasn't played since Dec. 13 due to a foot injury, should be ready to practice after the All-Star break, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. ... Woodson said center Marcus Camby, who hasn't played since Jan. 10 due to plantar fasciitis, also could resume practicing after the break, but added he was less certain about his status. ... Woodson just missed coaching the Eastern Conference All-Stars as the Miami Heat's win Sunday made Erik Spolestra the conference's coach. Woodson said in his pregame press conference, "It would have been great" to go to the game, but that he wasn't disappointed and would spend the break someplace warm. ... Calderon was cleared of his visa issues Monday afternoon, allowing him to play Monday night after sitting out the first two games.
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