In their four off-days leading up to the London Live 2013 game, the Pistons took in some sight seeing, attended an "NBA Cares" event, and enjoyed some London hospitality in England's capital city. But as the game tipped-off at 8pm London time, 3pm in Detroit, it was all business against the New York Knicks. The Knicks treated the game as a business trip too, and their "business" was better than the Pistons' on Thursday night. The Knicks won the game 102-87 in front of a sell-out crowd at London's O2 Arena.
The Pistons were hit hard early by the Knicks, as Carmelo Anthony scored 11 points on the way to a 29-point New York first quarter. The Pistons struggled to score and only put up 17 points in the first quarter. Carmelo Anthony continued punishing the Pistons and finished the first half with 18 points, knocking down three of New York's six, first half three pointers. More detrimental to the Pistons cause, Greg Monroe had only five points and Brandon Knight had zero points at the half.
Monroe got going in the second half and ended the game with a solid 11-point, 10-rebound double double. Knight's struggles continued in the second half, and he finished the game with only one point on an 0-4 shooting night where three of his shots came from behind the three-point line. The Pistons needed an offensive boost from their backcourt. Enter Will Bynum.
After scoring four points in the first half, Bynum came back to the game in the second half with 7:20 left in the third quarter. The Pistons were trailing 65-49. Bynum quickly made an impact, hitting a jumper and a driving layup in under one minute. With Bynum running the point, the Pistons went on a 12-1 run that has the team only trailing 66-61 with 3:40 left in the third quarter. Bynum had six points during the Pistons' 12-1 run.
Lawrence Frank stuck with Bynum for the rest of the game, keeping Knight on the bench for a season-low 18 minutes of play. In the fourth quarter with the Pistons trailing 83-68, Bynum went on an individual 7-0 run against the Knicks that had the Pistons within eight points. Bynum scored five more points in the fourth quarter. Still, Bynum's 7-0 run was as close as the Pistons would get in the fourth quarter as the Knicks scored 11 unanswered points after Bynum went off. Bynum ended his night with a team-high 22 points, with 18 points coming in the second half.
Carmelo Anthony finished the game with 26 points, using his three-point shot in the first half to setup a mid-range game in the second half that the Pistons had no answer for. Still, the Knicks just had too many offensive options with eight players recording five or more points, and five players with 10 or more points.
The loss drops the Pistons to 14-25, and now six wins worse than the eighth seeded Boston Celtics for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. If there was any hope for a Pistons playoff push, the past two losses combined with the fact that the Pistons face five playoff teams in the next seven games has squelched away that hope. The Pistons return to the court on Sunday night, taking on the Boston Celtics at the Palace of Auburn Hills at 7:30 pm.
Tags: Basketball, Brandon Knight, Carmelo Anthony, Detroit, Detroit Pistons, Greg Monroe, NBA, Will Bynum
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