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Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 113, Pistons 86

By Ian Begley



Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Carmelo Anthony returned to the court Tuesday after a two-game absence. He brought the Knicks' offense with him.

The Knicks shot 60 percent in their most complete offensive performance in two weeks. It coincided with Anthony's most efficient game of the season.

Of course, all the good vibes for New York came against a Pistons team that has won just four of its first 23 games and entered play Tuesday ranked 29th in the league in defensive efficiency.

Still, the Knicks have won just twice in their past 11 games, so they'll take what they can get.

THE GOOD: Anthony had struggled mightily with his shot recently. Playing through ankle, wrist and thumb injuries, the small forward went 40-for-126 in six games before deciding to shut it down for the last two games of the Knicks' recent road trip.

After testing his ankle prior to tipoff against the Pistons, Anthony decided to return to the court. He came out hot, hitting four of his first five shots, including two behind the arc, to finish with 10 points in the first quarter. He ended up with 25 points on 9-for-14 shooting and six assists. It was the first full game in which he shot at least 50 percent from the field since Jan. 4.

FIELDS DAY: Landry Fields had one of his strongest offensive performances since the Anthony trade, finishing with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. He added three assists and six steals.

Aside from an off night against Houston on Saturday, Fields has come on strong recently. He's scored in double figures in seven of his past eight, shooting better than 50 percent from the floor in six of those seven.

In addition to Fields, Tyson Chandler had 17 points, making five of his six attempts (he was 7-for-10 from the line). Amare Stoudemire had 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

THEY LIKE LIN: Third-string point guard Jeremy Lin got a loud ovation when he came in the game in the second half. And he didn't disappoint. Lin had four points, four assists and a steal.

THE BAD: Stoudemire tweaked his ankle during warm-ups prior to the second half. He came out in the third and had two 3-point opportunities, so he appeared unharmed.

WHAT'S NEXT: Tuesday was a warm-up for what will be a rough week for the Knicks. They have a dreaded three-games-in-three-nights stretch, starting Thursday at home against Chicago. New York then travels to Boston on Friday and returns home to face New Jersey on Saturday. Every team plays at least one set of three games in three nights.

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