AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Andre Drummond dominated the boards and threw in a couple of rarely seen offensive moves for good measure.
With their second-year center working tirelessly, the Detroit Pistons snapped out of their doldrums and ended a four-game losing streak with a 96-85 victory over the reeling New York Knicks on Monday night at The Palace.
Drummond scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds to record his 44th double-double, tying him with Grant Hill (1995-96) and Bill Laimbeer (1983-84) for the most by a Piston since the 1983-84 season.
Drummond tied Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard for the league’s single-game high in rebounds this season. It was also the most rebounds by a Piston since Ben Wallace snared 28 against the Boston Celtics on March 24, 2002.
“I don’t need the ball to score, and I don’t need a lot of touches to get my points,” said Drummond, who played all but 1:46 of the game. “I’m a glue guy for this team. It’s not my time to shoot 20 shots a game. I’m there to grab a lot of rebounds, and if I do get the ball, try to dunk it back in.”
While many of Drummond’s points come on alley-oops and put-backs, he showed another dimension in the third quarter when he made reverse layups from both sides of the basket.
“I’ve been working on that since the summer,” he said. “It’s cool. It’s just good to get an opportunity to showcase it in the game tonight, and it came out effectively, and I finished both those layups.”
After a 28-point first quarter, the Knicks collectively had trouble finishing. They shot 35.4 percent from the field in the last three quarters while losing their seventh straight and 12th in the last 14 games.
“The Pistons did a good job of getting stops,” said Knicks guard J.R. Smith, who scored 16 points but shot 5-for-17 from the field. “They ran the floor and did a good job of getting offensive rebounds, which led to second-chance points. We weren’t competitive enough on the boards. Offensively, we got action but couldn’t capitalize. Guys got open shots but couldn’t make them.”
Forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (21-40) with 28 points. Power forward Amar’e Stoudemire added 22 points in his second start this season.
New York stumbled despite holding Detroit to 42.2 percent shooting and forcing 17 turnovers.
Knicks point guard Raymond Felton shot 1-for-9 from the field, and the bench provided just seven points.
“Tonight when we finally found some defense, we could not find offense,” New York coach Mike Woodson said. “Raymond did not shoot it well, J.R. did not shoot it well, Timmy (Hardaway), nor Iman (Shumpert).”
The Pistons (24-36) had a balance attack while holding an opponent to its lowest point total since the Chicago Bulls scored 75 against them on Dec. 7. Reserve guards Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum each contributed 16 points, while forward Josh Smith supplied 15 points and power forward Greg Monroe added 11.
Smith also slowed down Anthony in the second half, holding the league’s second-leading scorer to 12 points while forcing four of his six turnovers.
“You just show him different looks and don’t get discouraged on the tough shots he hits,” Smith said. “He’s one of the best, if not the best, scorers in this league. You just try to lock down and make it tough for him and make him work because he’s going to get enough shots to get his points.”
Detroit led by five entering the final quarter, then took command by holding New York scoreless in the first 5:01 of the fourth. The Knicks missed five shots and made four turnovers while the Pistons reeled off eight unanswered points to take a 77-64 lead.
Stoudemire finally broke New York’s scoring drought with a jumper, but the Knicks never recovered.
NOTES: Pistons reserve C Josh Harrellson was unavailable because of a sore knee. … Detroit allowed an average of 112.3 points in its previous seven games, while New York gave up an average of 114.8 points in its previous six games. “I’m sure they’re disappointed where they’re at, and we’re disappointed where we’re at,” Pistons interim head coach John Loyer said. … With the loss, the Knicks dropped their first series against the Pistons since the 2006-07 season. … Detroit’s .666 free-throw percentage, through Sunday, was the worst in team history. The Pistons made 22 of 30 foul shots Monday (.733). … New York has used 12 different starters this season. … Before Monday, Pistons SG Kyle Singler averaged 13.2 points in 13 games as a starter, compared to 8.2 points in 46 games off the bench. … Through the weekend, Detroit led the NBA with an average of 52.6 points in the paint per game.
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