AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Josh Smith and the Detroit Pistons finally went up against a team they could handle defensively.
That would be Carmelo Anthony and the slumping, injury-riddled New York Knicks.
Rodney Stuckey scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and the Pistons beat the Knicks for the first time in eight meetings, 92-86 on Tuesday night.
Smith added 19 points for the Pistons, who had allowed at least 109 points to four of their previous five opponents. They held New York to 43 percent shooting.
We’re long, we’re athletic, Smith said. There shouldn’t be a reason why we can’t do that each and every night. Hopefully we’re turning the corner and we’re establishing ourselves on the defensive end.
Only one other team, the Boston Celtics, had been held under 90 points this season by the Pistons.
Detroit led 71-63 after three quarters and scored the first seven points of the fourth. New York cut the lead to four in the final minute, but the Knicks couldn’t reduce the deficit to one possession.
Anthony led the Knicks with 25 points. New York (3-7) has lost three in a row.
Greg Monroe had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, and Andre Drummond added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
New York guard Raymond Felton missed the game because of an injured lower back and left hip area. Beno Udrih started at guard, his first start of the season. Martin also got his first start of 2013-14 for the Knicks, giving them some size against Detroit’s big front line. New York is already without Tyson Chandler because of a broken leg.
WIZARDS 104, TIMBERWOLVES 100: In Washington, Bradley Beal scored 25 points, John Wall added 14 points and tied his career high with 16 assists, and Washington snapped a four-game skid.
Kevin Love led the Timberwolves with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Kevin Martin was held to 11.
HEAT 104, HAWKS 88: In Miami, Mario Chalmers went on a personal 9-0 run in a 39-second span of the period, Chris Bosh led all scorers with 19 points and the Heat won for the fourth straight time.
ROCKETS 109, CELTICS 85: in Houston, Terrence Jones scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds Houston to its third straight victory.