February 9, 2019 / 3:12 AM / 7 months ago

Pistons send Knicks to 15th straight loss

EditorsNote: rewords third graf; fixes to “77-67” in fifth graf

Feb 8, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Thon Maker (7) warms up before the game against the New York Knicks at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Drummond collected 29 points and 20 rebounds, and Blake Griffin had 26 points as the host Detroit Pistons handed the New York Knicks their 15th consecutive loss, 120-103 on Friday.

Drummond overcame early foul trouble to shoot 12-for-15 from the field while Griffin recorded the same numbers from the free-throw line for the Pistons, who scored a season-high 41 points in the first quarter.

Reggie Jackson made four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 20 points as Detroit won for the fourth time in five games and produced its sixth straight victory versus New York.

Dennis Smith Jr. scored 19 of his career-high 31 points in the first half for the NBA-worst Knicks, who have dropped 23 of their past 24 games overall. Smith shot 9-for-15 from the field and added a team-high eight assists.

Detroit led 77-67 midway through the third quarter when Drummond committed his fourth foul to earn a seat on the bench.

New York went on a 13-3 run over the next 3 1/2 minutes to tie the contest, but Griffin sank a pair of free throws and drilled a 3-pointer as the Pistons scored seven straight to claim an 89-84 lead at the end of the quarter.

Drummond returned to start the fourth for Detroit, which saw Khyri Thomas and Ish Smith each make a 3-pointer and Jackson drain a pair of jumpers as part of a 17-4 run. New York missed six of its first eight free throws in the session as its deficit ballooned to 106-88 with 5:47 remaining.

Detroit wasted little time getting out of the blocks, as Jackson drilled a trio of 3-pointers and scored 11 points to send the Pistons to a 30-12 lead with 4:23 remaining in the first quarter. Mitchell Robinson made four free throws and a jumper as part of a 10-4 surge for the Knicks, but Drummond worked the interior as Detroit scored the final seven points of the session to take a 41-22 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

New York took advantage of Detroit placing newcomers Svi Mykhailiuk and Thon Maker in the lineup to begin the second quarter. The Knicks enjoyed a 15-4 run to start the quarter and eventually closed the deficit to 63-54 at intermission.

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