(26-39) -- (32-33)
|The Pallace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI||MSG||5:00 PM EST|
|Detroit Pistons||New York Knicks|
|No injuries to report||Joakim Noah - Sore Left Hamstring (OUT)|
The Detroit Pistons fell below the .500 mark in mid-December and have carried around a losing record since that point. They can get back to even with a victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday.
Detroit owned a 14-13 record after a road win against Dallas on Dec. 14. The Pistons proceeded to lose their next five games and eventually dropped as low as six games under .500.
They moved one game under with a home win over Chicago on Monday, then got blown out at Indiana two nights later. They recovered with a stirring 106-101 home victory over Eastern Conference leader Cleveland on Thursday, improving their record to 32-33.
"It wasn't just getting a win and beating Cleveland. It was sort of the way we did it," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We really, really had to fight in the game. Guys felt good about it and we get another chance, and we've had several, to get to .500 on Saturday."
Making The Palace a tougher place to play has gotten the Pistons back on track. They have won 12 of their last 15 games on their home floor.
Their latest victory was sparked by a 13-0 run to start the fourth quarter, erasing a seven-point deficit. Reggie Jackson scored 12 of his 21 points and handed out all but one of his five assists during the quarter, in which the Pistons outscored the Cavs 33-21.
Van Gundy tweaked his lineup, re-inserting Tobias Harris at power forward and moving Jon Leuer to the bench. That didn't prevent another slow start by his club, which has trailed after the first quarter in seven of eight games since the All-Star break. It fell behind by 15 points late in the first quarter on Thursday.
Van Gundy is unsure what he'll do on Saturday.
"We've been struggling to make a basket early in the game," he said. "I thought maybe that would help us but obviously, it was 27-12, so I wouldn't say that was a brilliant decision. We're going to put out basically the same guys, we've just got to start better."
Detroit and New York have split their first two meetings. The Pistons recorded a 102-89 win at home on Nov. 1 but the Knicks responded 15 nights later with a 105-102 triumph at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks (26-39) haven't played since Wednesday, when they lost 104-93 at Milwaukee despite a 26-point outing from point guard Derrick Rose. That dropped their road record to 11-22.
Unlike the Pistons, New York has continued on a downward spiral after a 16-13 start.
"Win a game, lose a game, going up, going down. You want some consistency. The losing, you get fed up," forward Carmelo Anthony told the New York Post. "You start thinking about it. It starts weighing on you if you allow it to. It's just the inconsistency of winning a game, losing two."
Anthony's offense has gone south this month. He's averaging 16.5 points in the four games he's played in March, well below his 23.1 norm. Anthony was held to 16 points by the Bucks.
"Derrick saw the way they were guarding me, every time I touched it, they weren't letting me look at the rim, which was expected,'' Anthony told the Post.
On Thursday, team president Phil Jackson gave some pointers to his guards about how to run the triangle offense.
"Nobody installed anything," coach Jeff Hornacek told the New York Daily News. "We showed a couple options. When you play basketball, there are so many things you can do."