Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/21

Game 1: Friday, November 21st
Game 2: Monday, December 1st
Game 3: Tuesday, February 17th
Game 4: Saturday, March 27th

Pistons 79

(13-6, 7-4 away)

Knicks 78

(7-11, 4-5 home)

Coverage: MSG

7:30 PM ET, December 1, 2003

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

1 2 3 4 OT T
DET 16 21 12 21 979
NY 27 20 9 14 878

Top Performers

Det: M. Okur 14 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

NY: C. Ward 12 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

Former All-Star gets Garden ovation

NEW YORK (AP) -- Antonio McDyess was so overcome with emotion, he retreated to the locker room during the national anthem. His first shot barely grazed the net, his first alley-oop turned into an alley-oops, his first free throw bounced around and out.

McDyess eventually put his first point on the board as a member of the New York Knicks, grinning in embarrassment and blowing a kiss to the crowd after making a third-quarter free throw in a 79-78 overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons.

That shot accounted for half of McDyess' offensive production Monday night as he finally made his regular-season debut for New York nearly 14 months after fracturing his kneecap in a preseason game.

"Playing, scoring, rebounding -- that was bad," McDyess said after finishing 0-for-5 with two turnovers. "But physically I give myself an 'A.' I was doing things I felt I would never be able to do again: jumping, holding people, trying to go for dunks, trying to block shots, running up and down the court, sprinting. That felt good."

That good feeling was not contagious for the Knicks, especially over the latter part of a game in which their offense ground to a halt.

Chauncey Billups scored seven of his 24 points in overtime for the Pistons, who walked off with the win after Mehmet Okur blocked Michael Doleac's jumper just before the final buzzer.

McDyess sat out the final 9:13 of regulation and all of overtime as New York coach Don Chaney stuck with his plan of bringing the former All-Star and Olympian back slowly.

"There was not one time when I thought about the injury," said McDyess, whose left knee has undergone three operations in the past 19 months.

McDyess was warmly received but played tentatively, showing plenty of rust in his first regular season game since March, 2002. Two of his misses were from point-blank range, and two of his first three touches resulted in turnovers.

"My adrenaline carried me half the time," he said. "I put a lot of pressure on myself to get a bucket, make a shot. The crowd got me into it, every time I touched the ball I could hear them roar. I kind of got caught up in that."

Merely having McDyess on the court was a welcome sight for the Knicks, who had yet to receive any dividends from Scott Layden's blockbuster draft night deal of two summers ago that cost New York two starters and a lottery pick.

"He was rusty, he hasn't played in a couple years and I'm pretty sure he was dead tired out there," Detroit's Ben Wallace said. "But for the most part he looked pretty good. He missed a couple shots that he usually finishes, but that's the nature of the beast coming off an injury."

As poorly as McDyess played, it was not his fault that New York lost.

That blame could be spread around after the Knicks scored only nine points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth to fritter away a lead that had grown as large as 15.

It was the third straight victory for the Pistons, one of only seven NBA teams who began the night with a winning road record.

Okur added 14 points, Corliss Williamson scored 12 and Wallace grabbed 14 rebounds.

Allan Houston scored 20 for the Knicks but was not able to get off a final shot, losing control of the ball against the defense of Tayshaun Prince before recovering and finding Doleac for the last attempt.

A 3-pointer by Richard Hamilton with 3:35 left in the fourth quarter gave Detroit its first lead, 67-66, and the Pistons stayed in front until Charlie Ward made a 14-foot jumper with 12.6 seconds left in regulation.

After Houston hit from the corner with 2:23 left in overtime for a 76-75 lead, neither team scored again until Billups lost control of the ball, recovered it in mid-air and sank a 14-footer while being fouled. He completed the three-point play for a 78-76 lead.

Houston tied it with a jumper over Wallace, but Ward hacked Billups on the arm as he went up for a shot with 6.7 seconds left. Billups made the first and missed the second, setting up the final sequence.

Game notes

To make room for McDyess on the active roster, the Knicks placed F Mike Sweetney on the injured list with patella tendinitis. Sweetney joins the Knicks' other 2003 draft picks, centers Maciej Lampe and Slavko Vranes, on the IL. ... The Knicks, who had won four of their previous five, now embark on a five-game Western trip. ... The victory was Detroit's first of the season in games decided by three points or less. The Pistons had been 0-4 in such games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 79 78
FGM-FGA 28-73 (.384) 33-85 (.388)
3PM-3PA 2-8 (.250) 3-14 (.214)
FTM-FTA 21-28 (.750) 9-14 (.643)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-42 12-47
Assists 16 16
Turnovers 24 21
Steals 15 10
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 3 3
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 25 (0/0)

Top Performers

New York
Mehmet Okur Okur
Points: 14
Reb: 9
Ast: 0
Stl: 2
Blk: 1
Charlie Ward Ward
Points: 12
Reb: 5
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 2