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Struggling Pistons beat slumping Knicks 96-85

The Associated Press
Struggling Pistons beat slumping Knicks 96-85

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AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 3: Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons dunks during a game against the …

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Andre Drummond had his best night on the boards.

He was happier about another rare feat. Drummond had 17 points and a career-high 26 rebounds to match a single-season franchise record with his 44th double-double, helping the Detroit Pistons surge to beat the New York Knicks 96-85 Monday night in a matchup of slumping teams.

The Pistons had lost four straight and seven of eight.

''I'm just happy we won the game,'' Drummond said when asked about his career-high rebounding total.

Drummond's 26 rebounds matched Houston's Dwight Howard for the most in an NBA game this season.

''He's a young, explosive player,'' New York's Tyson Chandler said. ''We missed a lot of shots, so we helped him out.''

New York has dropped seven straight games and 13 of 15.

''I'm running out of comments,'' Carmelo Anthony said.

And, the Knicks are running out of time to rally for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

''It's not over yet,'' Amare Stoudemire insisted.

It looked like the Knicks' skid might end after Anthony scored 10 of his 28 points in a first quarter in which they led by as much as 14 and were ahead 28-20 when it ended.

''We started off slow and let them be comfortable,'' Drummond said.

The second-year center said the plan was to start making Anthony uncomfortable, and it worked. The Pistons outscored New York by three points in the second quarter, 30-20 in the third and started the fourth quarter with eight unanswered points.

''We got a string of stops, but we couldn't convert on the other end,'' Anthony said.

The Knicks, who started 8 of 15 from the field, were 9 of 18 in the first quarter.

Anthony made his first four shots - all from the outside - for 10 points in six-plus minutes as New York led 14-4. Stoudemire, who scored eight points in the first quarter, made a driving dunk to lift the Knicks to a 25-11 lead.

Over the next three quarters, New York barely connected on one-third of its shots.

''A game like this is very disappointing,'' Chandler said. ''When you have that kind of lead and when you have that kind of control of the game, you should be able to win.

''We just went flat and let them take over.''

J.R. Smith missed a lot of attempts before closing 5 of 17 from the field and scoring 16 points for the Knicks.

New York's Raymond Felton made only 1 of 9 shots and acknowledged his personal life might be affecting him professionally. He was charged last month with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and criminal possession of a firearm.

''Obviously if you're dealing with something, it's on your mind,'' Felton said. ''But I try not to let that come into my job.''

New York's third guard, Tim Hardaway Jr., was 0 for 6 in front of some fans who cheered for the rookie at Michigan.

''I thought our defense was pretty solid, but our offense fell apart in the second half,'' Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. ''We were just flat, and we couldn't get anything going from the outside. Raymond didn't hit anything. J.R. didn't hit anything. Timmy didn't hit anything. We can't ask two guys to score all our points.''

Stoudemire had 22 points - one short of his season high - despite playing sparingly in the fourth quarter. He was on the court for 32 minutes, a day after facing the Chicago Bulls, after recently being slowed by an injured left ankle.

''I feel great,'' he said. ''It's a great sign.''

Detroit reserves Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum each scored 16 points, helping their team's bench outscore New York's 36-7.

Greg Monroe had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Pistons, who are trying to climb up in the Eastern Conference standings to earn a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

NOTES: Drummond matched a team double-double mark set by Bill Laimbeer during the 1983-84 season that was equaled by Grant Hill in the 1995-96 season. ... New York's Kenyon Martin, whose sore left ankle is still in a protective boot, said is scheduled to have his injury evaluated on Thursday. ... Detroit's Josh Smith scored 15 points on 5 of 17 shooting. ... The Knicks lost a regular-season series against Detroit for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

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