Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Friday, November 21st
Knicks85Final
Pistons94
Game 2: Monday, December 1st
Pistons79Final
OT
Knicks78
Game 3: Tuesday, February 17th
Pistons88Final
Knicks92
Game 4: Saturday, March 27th
Knicks85Final
Pistons100

Knicks 85

(3-9, 1-5 away)

Pistons 94

(9-4, 5-1 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    8:00 PM ET, November 21, 2003

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 16 24 26 1985
    DET 29 22 23 2094

    Top Performers

    New York: K. Thomas 16 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Detroit: C. Billups 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 9 Ast, 3 Stl

    Knicks never led vs. tired Pistons

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Pistons have started to get away from last year's grind-it-out style, though they showed Friday night they can still win ugly.

    Detroit shot just 39.7 percent but made 29 free throws and played enough tough defense to pick up its fourth consecutive win, 94-85 over the slumping New York Knicks.

    "We just didn't seem like we had any rhythm," coach Larry Brown said. "Fortunately, we made some key stops and got to the free throw line and hung on. I guess these are the games you've got to be proud to win. I think we had tired legs and tired minds."

    The Knicks played without forward Keith Van Horn, who missed his second game with a sprained right ankle, and lost for the sixth time in seven tries. They never led.

    Chauncey Billups led the Pistons with 23 points, while Richard Hamilton added 21added and Ben Wallace had 10 points, nine rebounds and nine blocks.

    "We played the way we wanted to play," Billups said. "We controlled the tempo and we were executing. We've just to learn that when we have teams down, we have to be able to put them away."

    Kurt Thomas led New York with 16 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with four minutes to play, while Shandon Anderson scored 15 and Charlie Ward had 13.

    "Kurt's a key part of our team, and with Keith out, we knew we had to have him on the floor if we wanted to have a chance," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "I would have played him all night, even with a game tomorrow, if he hadn't fouled out."

    Allan Houston, battling a sore back, scored just nine points against his former team on 4-of-13 shooting.

    "It's a dilemma," Chaney said. "If we sit Allan down, he would probably heal, but with Keith out, we can't afford it right now."

    Detroit led 51-40 at the half, and the teams traded baskets for the first five minutes of the third before the Knicks put together an 10-0 run to narrow the margin to 66-62.

    "They were determined and showed a lot of heart," Wallace said. "But you can't beat the Pistons just with that. You have to do something else."

    Hamilton's three-point play in the final minute of the period helped Detroit take a 74-66 lead into the fourth.

    Billups' 3-pointer moved the margin to 79-69 early in the fourth, and the Knicks never got closer than seven after that.

    "We just couldn't make any shots," Houston said. "We played fairly solid defense, but we never could make enough baskets in a row to get any kind of run going."

    Game Notes: Anderson replaced Van Horn in the starting lineup. ... Okur, a native of Turkey, spent most of Thursday making sure his friends and family were safe after the terrorist attacks in Istanbul. ... Wallace and Thomas were given technical fouls for separate fourth-quarter incidents. ... Pistons rookie Darko Milicic, the second pick in the draft, missed his only field goal attempt and has still not scored this season. ... Wallace has two career triple-doubles and holds the team record for blocks, along with Edgar Jones, with 10.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    NY
    DET
    Points 85 94
    FGM-FGA 32-81 (.395) 31-78 (.397)
    3PM-3PA 3-13 (.231) 3-11 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 18-20 (.900) 29-37 (.784)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-39 12-47
    Assists 21 17
    Turnovers 15 14
    Steals 7 7
    Blocks 3 14
    Fast Break Points 5 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 33 (1/0) 23 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Detroit
    Kurt Thomas Thomas
    Points: 16
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Chauncey Billups Billups
    Points: 23
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0