NEW YORK (AP) -- Fourth quarters don't get much wilder than the
one the Knicks and Pistons played Saturday night.
Chucky Atkins made five 3-pointers, including one with 15.6
seconds left to give Detroit the lead for good as the Pistons beat
New York 100-97.
Detroit began the fourth quarter by scoring 15 unanswered points
to erase what remained of a 16-point deficit, then went ahead by 13
points with under 4 1/2 minutes left as the run was extended to 27-5.
New York came back with a 17-2 run to regain the lead, only to
have the Pistons score the final five points of the game and snap
the Knicks' three-game winning streak.
"In a game that was ours, we made careless mistakes and one
thing led to another," Knicks guard Mark Jackson said. "We
finished strong, but that's what happens when you let a team come
back into the ballgame."
Latrell Sprewell, who scored New York's final six points and
finished with 26, missed a jumper with six seconds left that would
have given New York the lead. Marcus Camby back-tapped the rebound
all the way to midcourt, where Jerry Stackhouse took it in for an
uncontested layup and a three-point lead with 3.9 seconds left.
With no timeouts left, the Knicks could only manage a heave from
beyond midcourt by Sprewell that missed.
Stackhouse led Detroit with 25 points, Atkins had 20, Clifford
Robinson had 18 and Zeljko Rebraca added 17.
For the first three quarters, the game had all the makings of
New York's fourth straight victory. The Knicks were the more
energetic team, outrebounding Detroit 29-15 in the first half
alone, and seemed to be catching the Pistons on an off night.
But everything suddenly changed early in the fourth. Robinson
opened the quarter with a three-point play, Atkins hit a 3-pointer
and Robinson hit a short turnaround to tie it 75.
"I told the guys at halftime that they have every excuse in the
world to pack it in, but if they stuck to it and started playing
our style of basketball we'd have a chance," Pistons coach Rick
Rebraca scored four of Detroit's next six points before Houston
ended the 15-0 run by making two foul shots. Jon Barry hit a
3-pointer after Atkins grabbed an offensive rebound, Robinson hit
consecutive shots and Stackhouse hit a 22-foot jumper as the shot
clock expired to give Detroit an 90-80 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left.
The lead eventually reached 13 with 4:22 left as Stackhouse made
one of two foul shots, but the Knicks came charging back. Jackson
hit a long jumper and then immediately drew an offensive foul on
Atkins before the Pistons even inbounded, leading to a jumper by
Sprewell that made it 95-92.
Sprewell then stepped back and hit a 3-pointer to tie the game
at 95-95 with 59 seconds left. After Robinson missed for Detroit,
Sprewell hit a 17-footer following an offensive rebound by Thomas
to give the Knicks a 97-95 lead.
Corliss Williamson of Detroit and Shandon Anderson of New
York were ejected early in the fourth quarter after getting into a
scuffle following a missed shot. ... Referee Luis Grillo gave
Carlisle a lecture after Carlisle vehemently protested a clear-path
foul in the third quarter. "Don't ever use language like that when
we are discussing something," said Grillo, who did not give
Carlisle a technical foul. ... Jackson picked up a flagrant foul
for hammering Stackhouse on a breakaway with 8:18 left in the