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