The Detroit Pistons (25-44) showed some backbone tonight as they came back from a double digit deficit against the New York Knicks (35-33) to keep any playoff hopes they may have, alive. The Pistons had 6 players score in double digits tonight, Tayshaun Prince leading the way with 16 points, but none more important than Rodney Stuckey as he scored 6 of the teams final 10 points and finished the night with 12 points.
Detroit outscored the Knicks 19 to 7 on the fastbreak and absolutely dominated the Knicks in the paint, outscoring them 44 to 28 down low. The Knicks thrive on running up and down the court and getting tons of fastbreak points, but the Pistons did a great job at limiting them in transition and kept their turnovers down. The Pistons also kept Amare Stoudemire fairly quiet as he scored 20 points on 8 of 16 shooting and forced him into 5 turnovers.
The Pistons played sound basketball in the first half and looked to be in control mid -way through the third quarter when they extended their 2 point half time lead to 8 points after Tayshaun Prince knocked down a mid-range jumper. But, (seems there is always a “but” when talking about the Pistons these days) the Knicks went on a 17-0 run shortly after to quiet the Palace and leave everyone saying, “Here we go again.” The run, oddly enough, was started by Chauncey Billups scoring 7 straight points and he showed everyone in the building how important he truly was to our past success. Definitely brought back memories of the our championship season. The Knicks were up 74-65 at that point and it seemed like all was lost as we went into the fourth quarter trailing 78-70.
The fourth quarter started out much like the third quarter as the Pistons fell behind 11 points and the game began to look like a blow out. The Pistons decided not to let that happen as they went on a 13 to 2 run, which surprisingly was fueled by Charlie Villanueva’s 8 points, and tied the score up at 83-83. Shawne Williams quickly responded with a three pointer to give the Knicks a 3 point lead, but Villanueva made his third consecutive three pointer to tie the game at 86-86. The game was tied 89 to 89 and then Rodney Stuckey took over for Detroit as he scored the next 6 points for Detroit, the most important basket being his last as it tied the game at 95 with just over a minute remaining. Tough defense and a bucket by Wilcox gave Detroit a lead that stood for good.
The Pistons had every chance to pack it in and let the Knicks runaway with this game after falling behind, but they showed all of us they are willing to fight for that final playoff spot. Unfortunately Indiana won their game tonight against Chicago and still have a 5 game lead over Detroit for the final playoff spot. The good news is our remaining schedule has a lot of winnable games and we get to play Indiana twice. If we sweep Indiana in those games then we are in business, should make for a great final stretch.
About the Author
Written by Colton Turnquist
I have been an avid sports fan my entire life and even pursued a professional sports career in golf. I played professionally for three and half years trying to make it on the PGA Tour, but never broke through. I want to stay involved with sports and what better way than writing about them!