March 9, 2020 / 2:21 AM / 21 days ago

Randle lifts New York over struggling Detroit

EditorsNote: moves pistons’ struggles to 2nd graf; fixes grammatical error in 7th graf; minor edits throughout

Mar 8, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Bruce Brown (6) goes to the basket against New York Knicks forward Maurice Harkless (3) and forward Julius Randle (30) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle collected 22 points and 12 rebounds, and the host New York Knicks clamped down defensively in the fourth quarter to post a 96-84 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

The Knicks won for the third time in their past 11 games and beat Detroit for the second straight time after losing the previous eight meetings. The Pistons lost for the fourth time in a row and for the 11th time in 12 games.

New York grabbed the lead for good midway through the third quarter and outscored the Pistons 24-13 in the fourth quarter.

Randle posted his 29th double-double of the season and scored 17 points in the second half as the Knicks also allowed their second-fewest points of the season and held Detroit to 37 points after halftime.

Elfrid Payton added 16 points and six assists as the Knicks shot 43.9 percent from the field. Mitchell Robinson also posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks held a commanding 51-35 rebounding edge and outscored Detroit 54-32 in the paint.

Rookie RJ Barrett added 12 points, and his 3-pointer with 5:18 remaining in the third gave the Knicks the lead for good.

Christian Wood scored 22 points and Bruce Brown 16 as Detroit shot 36.2 percent from the field, missed 15 of 19 shots in the fourth quarter, and was held under 85 points for the fourth time this season.

The Pistons led 61-60 on a layup by Wood 5:27 left in the third before the Knicks scored nine straight points to get a 69-61 lead on Barrett’s finger roll with 3:20 remaining in the quarter. Detroit finished the third with a 10-3 flurry to get within 72-71 entering the fourth.

New York started the fourth quarter with a 17-6 spurt and took an 89-77 lead on a 3-pointer by Randle with 4:40 remaining. The Knicks finished it off in the final minute when Payton lobbed an alley-oop to Robinson for a dunk to make it 94-82.

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