NEW YORK – Amare Stoudemire scored 33 points despite a sprained right knee, rookie Timofey Mozgov had career highs of 23 points and 14 rebounds in his first appearance in three weeks, and the New York Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons 124-106 on Sunday night.
Danilo Gallinari added 29 points for the Knicks, who seized control early in the fourth quarter after it was tied through three. He made two 3-pointers in a decisive 12-2 burst to open the final period and New York went on to win for the third time in four games.
Ben Gordon made seven 3-pointers and scored a season-high 35 points for the Pistons, who have lost three in a row.
The Knicks were without starting forward Wilson Chandler (sore left calf) and key reserve Shawne Williams, who was suspended for throwing a punch in Atlanta on Friday night. Ronny Turiaf started but was quickly in foul trouble, forcing coach Mike D'Antoni to go deep down his bench to Mozgov, the starting center early in the season before falling out of the rotation entirely.
In his first appearance since Jan. 9, the Russian played 40 minutes, rebounding from a shaky start, and was treated to loud "Mozgov! Mozgov! chants in the final minute.
Gallinari opened the fourth with a tiebreaking 3-pointer that gave the Knicks the lead for good, then Mozgov slammed home a follow dunk. Gallinari added another 3 before Raymond Felton's bucket capped the run and made it 103-93.
Rookie Greg Monroe had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons.
The Knicks started 8 of 11, then missed their next 9 shots — four of them by Mozgov — until he dunked in a miss by Stoudemire. Mozgov got another dunk and quickly got another dunk, which seemed to settle him down.
He had nine points in his first nine minutes and finished 9 of 15 from the floor.
He helped take some pressure inside away from Stoudemire, who was hurt Friday and grabbed only six rebounds. Stoudemire went down and appeared to be in pain after banging his left knee with a Detroit player on a drive in the fourth quarter, but got up and played on, scoring 26 points after halftime.
The Knicks also gave Anthony Randolph his first minutes since Jan. 7, but he was scoreless.
The Knicks wanted to play fast, with the "pace" written all over their locker room board. But Detroit had no problem keeping up, shooting 60 percent in the first quarter and staying there until a little more than 2 minutes remaining in the half.
Charlie Villanueva's 11 points in the second quarter included two 3-pointers in the final 47 seconds as Detroit took a 62-60 halftime lead.
Gordon, who grew up in nearby Mount Vernon, N.Y., was a Big East tournament MVP award while playing for Connecticut and earned the nickname "Madison Square Gordon" for his big moments here, scored 16 in the third quarter before Stoudemire's follow dunk with 1 second remaining tied it at 91.
NOTES: Knicks president Donnie Walsh said through a spokesman he had "nothing to report" about a Yahoo Sports! report that he had agreed to hire former Denver Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien as a high-level consultant. ... Pistons coach John Kuester on Knicks' rookie Landry Fields, a second-round draft pick: "What a steal. I'm telling you, he's an outstanding basketball player. People do not realize how good of a basketball player and understanding of the game that he has. Great rebounder for a guy his size, understands how to play the game and very impressed." ... D'Antoni didn't get a chance to see Mike Krzyzewski, whom he assists on the U.S. Olympic team. Krzyzewski had a rough afternoon in the opener of a doubleheader at Madison Square Garden, where No. 3 Duke lost 93-78 to St. John's. "He's won a few games," D'Antoni said, "he'll be all right."