Rapid Reaction: Knicks 121, Pistons 100
November, 25, 2012
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: Despite their struggles over the past two games, the Knicks didn't exactly clamp down on defense, but it didn't really matter Sunday.
They simply outscored the Pistons in a 121-100 win at MSG.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points, and Steve Novak was fantastic off the bench, pouring in 18 points on five 3s. J.R. Smith also had a strong floor game, with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Knicks had given up an average of 122.5 points in their past two games -- both losses -- so there were concerns about their defense coming into Sunday's game.
They gave up at least 100 points for the third straight game, but forced 19 Detroit turnovers, converting them into 33 points.
NOVAK'S BACK: After scoring 17 points on opening night against Miami, Novak had been pretty quiet this season. In fact, he failed to score in double figures in the Knicks' next 10 games.
But that changed on Sunday, when Novak knocked down two crucial 3-pointers in the second quarter to help the Knicks build a 20-point lead. He added three more in the second half, the last of which was followed by his first "Discount Double Check" celebration of the season.
SMITH SIZZLES: Novak wasn't the only one to play well off the Knicks' bench. Smith had five assists and a steal that led to a no-look dish to Tyson Chandler for a dunk that put the Knicks up 13 with 9:30 to play.
LETHAL MELO: Anthony had another big afternoon on the offensive end. He opened the game with 15 points in the first quarter, following up an 18-point first quarter against Houston.
He added 14 more in the final three quarters. He finished the game with four 3s and hit 10 of his 18 shots.
WALLACE BACK: A healthy Rasheed Wallace had 15 points in 22 minutes. He missed Friday's game with a sore left foot. Marcus Camby played for the first time in three games, pulling down three rebounds in five minutes. Ray Felton had 14 points and 10 assists.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks take on the Nets for the first time since the franchise moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The teams will battle on Monday night at the Barclays Center in a game that was originally scheduled as the season opener but was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.