Knicks Celebrate MLK Day With Win Over Undermanned Pistons

Published on: 18th January, 2010

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Nate-Robinson
Knicks Celebrate MLK Day With Win Over Undermanned Pistons  | read this item

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NEW YORK – The Detroit Pistons came into Madison Square Garden a struggling and undermanned squad to face a Knicks team that had been playing at a .500  clip (15-15) since their horrific 1-9 start. The Pistons were without Ben Gordon, Tayshaun Prince, and Chris Wilcox. The Knicks were without Eddy Curry (knee injury).

Advantage Knicks.

 The Knicks also had the benefit of the streak-shooting Nate Robinson today, as he found his offensive rhythm en route to scoring a game-high 27 points to lead the Knicks to a 99-91 win.

In 33 minutes of court time, Robinson, who earlier this week committed to defending his NBA Slam Dunk championship during the upcoming All-Star weekend, had a season-high five three pointers plus one spectacular dunk on a pass from Chris Duhon to push the Knicks over the top, especially when they were struggling on the offensive end today.

‘I thought Nate gave us some athleticism out there when we needed it,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. “He gives us something that we need (athleticism) but you have to have everything else, the defense and the sound play.”

Robinson was more than sound today. He did most of his damage in his 13-point second quarter from the perimeter, though it was that sky-walking dunk on the Duhon feed that thrilled the crowd late in that period to give the Knicks a 12-point lead.

Fellow reserve Al Harrington and Wilson Chandler each added 17 points as the Knicks bounced back from consecutive losses, including Saturday’s 94-90 defeat in Detroit, and improved to 18-6 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Detroit came back in the third quarter by holding the Knicks to 11 points in the third, their worst quarter of the season, to take a 70-68 lead going into the final period.

The Pistons were down only one with 10 minutes left before Harrington, Danilo Gallinari and Robinson made 3-pointers in a 13-4 spurt that gave the Knicks an 88-78 lead, and they held on from there.

Rodney Stuckey scored 22 to lead the Pistons, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. They led after three quarters with a gutty effort but simply didn’t have enough firepower with four of their top six scorers out.

The Pistons have been playing well lately, with three consecutive wins coming into today’s game but their missing personnel {Gordon (strained right groin), Prince (sore left knee) and Will Bynum (sprained left ankle)}, plus the loss of Richard Hamilton to an upset stomach was too much for them to overcome.

Lucky Knicks.

Ben Wallace scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva also had 16 points for the Pistons.

Danilo Gallinari finished with 16 points and David Lee had 11 points and 15 rebounds for New York.

Knicks notes: Robinson will compete against Gerald Wallace, Shannon Brown, and either DeMar DeRozan or Eric Gordon on Feb. 13 in Dallas on All-Star Weekend. His preference was not to participate this year but the league convinced, perhaps even coerced him to defend the title. “I would rather not be in it this year but they told me I had to defend my title. It’s in the rules,” Robinson said. No one is quite sure which “rule book” Robinson was referring to but SportsReporters is contacting the NBA office to try to acquire a copy of said rules.

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