Pistons top Knicks; NY’s playoff hopes continue to fade
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Chauncey Billups scored 22 points and dished
out six assists to lead the Detroit Pistons over the New York Knicks, 91-83,
at Madison Square Garden.
Richard Hamilton added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Pistons, who have
won five of six and increased their Eastern Conference lead over Chicago and
Cleveland to 4 1/2 games. The Bulls and Cavaliers were both off on Monday.
Tayshaun Prince had 12 points and eight rebounds and Antonio McDyess tallied
11 points with 13 boards for Detroit, which used seven straight points down
the stretch to pull away.
Nate Robinson and Eddy Curry each scored 24 points to lead the Knicks, whose
playoff life is fading. Channing Frye had 11 points and Mardy Collins 10 for
New York, which has lost 11 of 14 and fell four games behind Orlando for the
final playoff spot with just five games to play. The Magic won at Milwaukee
After Robinson drained a three-pointer to help New York overcome a five-point
deficit and tie the game at 75 midway through the fourth quarter, the game
remained tight for the next three minutes.
Billups’ fadeaway jumper with 2:37 remaining, however, broke a tie at 79 and
started a seven-point run that secured the game for the Pistons. Hamilton hit
a three-pointer with 2:03 left and Rasheed Wallace’s follow-up dunk put
Detroit on top 86-79 with 1:26 on the clock.
Detroit hit 3-of-6 free throws down the stretch to ice it.
Wallace ended with just six points and six boards for Detroit, which led 24-23
after the first quarter and 45-38 at halftime.
Down 50-40 after a Billups three-pointer a minute into the third quarter, the
Knicks went on an 28-8 run to take a 10-point lead of their own. Robinson and
Curry combined to score 24 points during the surge, which Robinson capped with
a trey with under a minute to play for a 68-58 cushion.
Billups rallied the Pistons heading into the fourth quarter, hitting a three-
pointer and then a long jumper at the buzzer as Detroit went into the final 12
minutes down just 68-63. Detroit then continued to pressure New York in the
fourth, going ahead 75-70 after a Prince bucket five minutes into the frame.
Prince’s basket ended a 12-2 run that dated back to the third quarter.
NY’s Steve Francis was ejected for a second time this season. He was tossed
after receiving a pair of technical at the 10:50 mark of the fourth quarter
for arguing with the officials…The Knicks were already without guard Stephon
Marbury for a second straight game with a toe injury…NY forward Renaldo
Balkman was also out with a stomach virus…Detroit has won nine of the last