DETROIT (AP)Julius Randle and the New York Knicks took advantage of Andre Drummond’s absence.
With the game on the line, Randle and Mitchell Robinson came up with crucial offensive rebounds, and Randle eventually made a bank shot with 13.5 seconds left that helped New York hold on for a 95-92 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.
The Knicks have won a season-high four straight.
The Pistons are a shell of the team that began the season in Detroit. Blake Griffin has been out because of left knee surgery, and the Pistons traded Drummond to Cleveland on Thursday. With Drummond gone, New York had 16 offensive rebounds to Detroit’s three.
”My mindset was if I wasn’t the one attacking, getting the shot, if it comes off the rim, I’m going to get it no matter what,” Randle said. ”Just down the stretch, we all made winning plays and did the right thing.”
Randle scored 17 points. The Knicks led 91-89 when he made his bank shot inside to push the lead to four. Replays showed Detroit’s Thon Maker appeared to take an arm to the face on the play, but it was not considered reviewable.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Maker lost three teeth on the play.
Christian Wood made a 3-pointer for Detroit to cut the lead to one, but Reggie Bullock of the Knicks made two free throws with 7.3 seconds left for the final margin.
Reggie Jackson missed a last-second 3-pointer that would have tied it.
”They got after it and we gave up a lot of offensive boards,” Jackson said. ”Second-chance opportunities – they got 17 points, so that’s very difficult. We’ve got to figure out a way to rebound as a collective group.”
Jackson missed a driving layup attempt with about a minute left and the Pistons down two. Then New York’s Elfrid Payton missed at the other end but Randle rebounded. Another miss by Payton was rebounded by Robinson, setting up Randle’s basket that made it 93-89.
”We’ve talked about, so many times, how resilient this group has been,” Knicks interim coach Mike Miller said. ”So, to see them have some excitement and have success like they’re having, and the way they’re staying together and they’re getting contributions in so many areas. You had guys step up tonight at different points.”
Wayne Ellington scored 17 points for the Knicks. Jackson had 20 points and nine assists.
Knicks: Kadeem Allen (right foot) and Allonzo Trier (illness) did not play. … Payton had 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Pistons: Derrick Rose (left hip), Luke Kennard (knee), Markieff Morris (illness), Brandon Knight (left knee) and Svi Mykhailiuk (right hip) missed the game. … Wood had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
John Henson, who came to Detroit in the trade for Drummond, scored 12 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
”I loved it,” Casey said. ”I thought he did a good job screening, cutting the pocket and kicking it out. He just did an excellent job for being at one shootaround. So, I think he is a good positive addition.”
The Knicks had five players in double figures, and the 11 players used by New York all scored. The bench outscored Detroit’s reserves 46-25.
”We always try to use our bench as a strength,” said Bobby Portis, who scored 11 points. ”Our goal is to try and come in and just try to change the game in any aspect we can. We were hitting shots tonight, being active, playing defense, and it really showed.”
Knicks: At Atlanta on Sunday night.
Pistons: Host Charlotte on Monday night.
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