NBA Game Summary - New York at Detroit
(Tuesday, April 8th)
Final Score: New York 98, Detroit 94
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) - Wilson Chandler had 19 points and nine rebounds -- all in the first half -- and the New York Knicks built a sizeable first-half lead before barely holding on for a 98-94 win over the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Jamal Crawford scored 16 and Zach Randolph and Nate Robinson added 11 apiece for the Knicks, who won their second straight despite very nearly blowing a lead that went as high as 24.
"We're just trying to play like it's the first game of the season," said Chandler, a Michigan native. "You look forward to coming home, but you try not to get too happy about it. You try not to do too many things, nothing extra, just play like it's a regular game."
Amir Johnson led Detroit with 14 points and eight rebounds in fewer than 25 minutes, while Rodney Stuckey totaled 12 and four off the Pistons bench.
Detroit, which was without Richard Hamilton and had little to play for after clinching the Eastern Conference's second seed with a win over Miami Sunday, had a five-game win streak snapped.
A Robinson jumper and a Fred Jones three-pointer pushed the New York lead to 24 just a minute into the fourth quarter. Pistons head coach Flip Saunders took his starters off the floor soon after, and it appeared the Knicks would be able to cruise down the stretch.
But Detroit slowly crept its way back into the game, pulling back within 11, 96-85, on a pair of Johnson free throws with 2:39 to go. New York's inexperience playing with a lead was evident, and Johnson's tip-in and Stuckey's three-point play completed a 13-0 Pistons run that suddenly made it 96-94 with 33 seconds remaining.
Mardy Collins buried a long two-pointer with the shot clock running down and just seven ticks showing, finally stifling the furious Detroit rally, and securing the win for New York.
"I was a little concerned," Crawford said of the late Pistons rally. "But it was good to see how the young guys would react in that situation. They're getting worlds of experience being out there with a big lead and having a team come back like that with the crowd getting into it."
"The group that went in the fourth quarter gave us a chance after we were down 25," said Saunders.
Jones finished with nine points for the Knicks, while Jared Jeffries had eight to go with six boards and three assists.
Juan Dixon scored 11 for the Pistons, as did starters Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups, who were among those on the bench during the fourth.
New York led 28-16 after one quarter behind nine points from Chandler and eight from Crawford. The Knicks maintained their double-digit lead for most of the second quarter, then closed the half on a 19-5 run to take a 57-34 lead into the break.
Detroit got within as few as 15 during the middle stages of the third, but New York still held a 79-60 advantage heading to the fourth.
Prior to the game, the Pistons held a ceremony honoring the back-to-back "Bad Boy" title teams of the late 1980s, which included Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas. Thomas was introduced along with his former teammates and received the longest and most emphatic ovation...Hamilton has sat the past two games with a hip injury, but is expected to return for Wednesday's game at Philadelphia...New York was without forward David Lee, who was experiencing back spasms...The Knicks shot 59.5 percent in the first half, and finished the game 41-for-76 (53.9) from the floor...Chandler was coming off a career-high 23 points in a 10-point win over Orlando Sunday...Jason Maxiell had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for Detroit.
04/08 23:47:06 ET