The New York Knicks were able to survive without their star player and defeated the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Wednesday night, 87-77.
New York took the floor without Carmelo Anthony, who is currently battling an injury. Meanwhile, Detroit matched that, as Greg Monroe was unable to suit up.
The Knicks gained an early advantage over the Pistons and took a six-point lead going into the second half after an ugly first half all-around that was filled with plenty of turnovers by New York.
The third quarter belonged to the Pistons, and they outscored the Knicks 27-21. That evened the score up going into the final quarter of the contest.
Detroit had a ton of problems scoring in the final frame, as New York stepped up its defensive effort. J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton were the major catalysts for the Knicks in the fourth, and their combined effort was enough to propel the Knicks to victory.
This was quite the up-and-down game for both squads, and sloppy was the overall theme here. The Knicks and Pistons each had 20 turnovers, making this a fundamental coach's nightmare.
Amar'e Stoudemire once again stepped up for the Knicks, scoring 17 of his 22 points in the first half, but he also added nine rebounds and a blocked shot. Felton led all scorers with 26 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Detroit simply couldn't replace Monroe's missing production, although Brandon Knight tried by leading the Pistons with 17 points and five rebounds. Jose Calderon was dealing, with 16 assists, and he completed the double-double with 10 points.
Player of the Game: NYK PG Raymond Felton
Felton knew he had to score more in 'Melo's absence, and he did just that. The Knicks point guard finished with a game-high 26 points, but he also added a solid all-around effort with six rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal.
More importantly, Felton turned it on in the third quarter when the Knicks fell behind by double digits, and he was a major player in the fourth quarter to close this game out.
The only downside of Felton's night was his eye-popping seven turnovers, but he more than made up for it with his offense.
What's Next for New York
The Knicks needed this win with some really tough games coming up in the next few weeks. New York will host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
What's Next for Detroit
The Pistons have now lost three games in a row and will host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.