National Basketball Association
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                     === Melo-less Knicks down Pistons ===
 Detroit,  MI (Sports Network) - J.R. Smith scored nine of his 20 points in the
 fourth  quarter, helping  the Carmelo  Anthony-less New  York Knicks  beat the
 Detroit Pistons, 87-77, on Wednesday.
 Smith  went 4-of-11  from beyond the arc for the Knicks, who outscored Detroit
 by a 22-12 margin in the final 12 minutes. Raymond Felton made four 3-pointers
 en  route to  26 points,  while Amare  Stoudemire tallied  22 points  and nine
 Anthony  was held  out of the game  due to a right knee injury suffered Monday
 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 "Melo  is a big piece of our ballclub and we have had games this year where he
 missed  and we have been successful," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "That is
 the sign of a true team."
 Brandon  Knight ended with 17 points for the Pistons, who went 0-4 against the
 Knicks  this season  and have lost seven straight overall in the series. Jason
 Maxiell and Kyle Singler donated 14 and 13 points, respectively.
 Jose  Calderon had 10  points and 16 assists for Detroit, which has lost three
 in a row and six of seven. Jonas Jerebko tallied 12 points.
 The  Pistons were without head coach Lawrence Frank (personal) and Greg Monroe
 (ankle). Assistant coach Brian Hill took over for Frank.
 "I  told  our guys after the  game that I  have nothing negative to say," Hill
 said. "I thought we played some difficult lineups out there tonight. I thought
 they gave us every ounce of energy that they could possibly give us."
 Trailing  by two, 73-71,  with under seven minutes to play, New York went on a
 16-0  run. Felton and Smith tallied seven and six points, respectively, during
 the  burst.  Felton's 3-pointer with  2:17 remaining  gave the Knicks an 87-73
 Detroit scored the final four points of the game.
 The Knicks started the game on fire, shooting 61.5 percent from the field over
 the first 12 minutes. Iman Shumpert made a trio of 3-pointers in the period to
 help New York take a 24-19 lead.
 New  York  used a 7-0 spurt  during the middle  stages of the second stanza to
 build  its largest lead of the game. Smith's hook shot made it a 40-25 contest
 with 5:39 left until half.
 Detroit  prevented the Knicks from pulling away by responding with a 13-4 run.
 The surge got the Pistons within six, 44-38, at the break.
 The  home team  carried that momentum into the second half, starting the third
 period  on a 24-8 run. Knight tallied eight points during the burst, including
 a 3-pointer with 3:55 left to make it 62-52 in favor of Detroit.
 Trailing  by 10, 65-55, moments later, the Knicks closed out the frame with 10
 straight points to tie the game.
                                   Game Notes
 The  Knicks finished  with 21 turnovers to  Detroit's 20 ... New York went 13-
 of-35 from beyond the arc.
 03/07 00:14:31 ET