Tobias Harris scored 23 of his 28 points in the first half, when the Detroit Pistons took control with a fast start on their way to a 112-92 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
The Pistons raced out to an 18-point lead in the first quarter and took a 66-53 lead into the second the half.
New York trailed 66-53 at halftime and 89-81 after three quarters, and Detroit had little trouble closing out the game. Andre Drummond had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Pistons.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points for the Knicks, who lost for the fourth time in five games. Willy Hernangómez grabbed nine rebounds for New York. >>Read more
Defense continues to be a problem for this squad. As Phil Jackson focuses on preaching the fundamentals of the triangle, the Knicks are clearly failing to get stops on the other end of the floor. There's a lack of urgency, physicality and even effort. The Pistons aren't a run-and-gun team by any means, so New York should be able to keep the pace relatively well. That wasn't the case.
It's worth noting that Carmelo Anthony continues to have difficulty against the Pistons. Long Island's own Harris is very familiar with Anthony's game and respective tendencies. Matching up with Anthony always seems to motivate Marcus Morris to play with a chip on his shoulder. They make him work for his offense. Together, the duo was dialed in and switched very efficiently on Anthony. They left him very little room to create the type of shots he wanted.
In what appears to be a commonly forming alternating pattern, Chasson Randle received key minutes while Ron Baker sat most of the way. Randle's long range prowess not only provided some excitement, but helped the Knicks close the gap each time they made a run. But alas, the defense was failing regardless of how steadily the offense was flowing. As time goes on, Baker should be playing alongside his fellow youngster, not either/or.