Detroit, MI – J.R. Smith scored nine of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, helping the Carmelo Anthony-less New York Knicks beat the Detroit Pistons, 87-77, on Wednesday.
Smith went 4-of-11 from beyond the arc for the Knicks, who outscored Detroit by a 22-12 margin in the final 12 minutes. Raymond Felton made four 3-pointers en route to 26 points, while Amare Stoudemire tallied 22 points and nine rebounds.
Anthony was held out of the game due to a right knee injury suffered Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"Melo is a big piece of our ballclub and we have had games this year where he missed and we have been successful," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "That is the sign of a true team."
Brandon Knight ended with 17 points for the Pistons, who went 0-4 against the Knicks this season and have lost seven straight overall in the series. Jason Maxiell and Kyle Singler donated 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Jose Calderon had 10 points and 16 assists for Detroit, which has lost three in a row and six of seven. Jonas Jerebko tallied 12 points.
The Pistons were without head coach Lawrence Frank (personal) and Greg Monroe (ankle). Assistant coach Brian Hill took over for Frank.
"I told our guys after the game that I have nothing negative to say," Hill said. "I thought we played some difficult lineups out there tonight. I thought they gave us every ounce of energy that they could possibly give us."
Trailing by two, 73-71, with under seven minutes to play, New York went on a 16-0 run. Felton and Smith tallied seven and six points, respectively, during the burst. Felton's 3-pointer with 2:17 remaining gave the Knicks an 87-73 margin.
Detroit scored the final four points of the game.
The Knicks started the game on fire, shooting 61.5 percent from the field over the first 12 minutes. Iman Shumpert made a trio of 3-pointers in the period to help New York take a 24-19 lead.
New York used a 7-0 spurt during the middle stages of the second stanza to build its largest lead of the game. Smith's hook shot made it a 40-25 contest with 5:39 left until half.
Detroit prevented the Knicks from pulling away by responding with a 13-4 run. The surge got the Pistons within six, 44-38, at the break.
The home team carried that momentum into the second half, starting the third period on a 24-8 run. Knight tallied eight points during the burst, including a 3-pointer with 3:55 left to make it 62-52 in favor of Detroit.
Trailing by 10, 65-55, moments later, the Knicks closed out the frame with 10 straight points to tie the game.
The Knicks finished with 21 turnovers to Detroit's 20 ... New York went 13- of-35 from beyond the arc.