AUBURN HILLS, Mich, March 27 (Ticker) -- Lavor Postell got his wish, and the New York Knicks got a win.

Postell, a little-used reserve, scored a career-high 20 points as the Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 89-82 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

The second-year guard had complained after the team's home loss to Denver on Monday that he wasn't getting enough playing time.

"Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston don't do anything that I can't do," Postell had said. "The only difference is that they play and I don't. All I need is an opportunity."

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Kurt Thomas scored eight of his 18 points in the first quarter.
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With Houston sitting out a second straight game with a sprained left ankle, Postell got more minutes off the bench. He did not play in the first quarter but scored 15 in the second -- surpassing his previous career high by five points.

After Corliss Williamson scored six straight points to give the Pistons a 78-77 lead with 4 1/2 minutes to go, Travis Knight hit a pair of free throws and Sprewell hit a 3-pointer to give the Knicks a four-point lead with 3:05 to play.

Neither team could score for two minutes until Postell hit a clutch 3-pointer from the left corner with 64 seconds left to give the Knicks a seven-point edge. The Pistons got no closer than five points in the final minute.

"The objective was just to go out there and get a win," Postell said. "Hopefully when I do get minutes, I'll take advantage of it like I did tonight. I made a statement in the paper and I backed it up. That's in the past. That's a mistake, I shouldn't have done that. This is a great group of guys. They made fun of me (for the statement) but they still supported me."

"I'm just glad he was able to have a good game," Sprewell said.

"I don't know about putting that added pressure on yourself, but if you strive in those situations, it's good." Kurt Thomas had 18 points, Sprewell 17 and Mark Jackson 11 and 12 assists for the Knicks, who improved to just 9-25 on the road this season.

"We've had a lot of games like this where we were in position to win and we haven't gotten the job done," Sprewell said.

"Tonight we were able to have some good execution down the stretch and some good defensive stops. In past games, we haven't had that."

Chucky Atkins and Jerry Stackhouse scored 18 points apiece but both were held scoreless in the fourth quarter for Detroit, which missed an opportunity to sweep New York for the first time since 1990, when it won the second of back-to-back championships.

"It was a disappointing game and a disappointing outcome,"

Pistons coach Rick Carlisle said. "I give credit to the Knicks. I thought they played really hard and played with great force. We just didn't match it at any point in the game."

Ben Wallace added 12 points, 20 rebounds and eight blocks for the Pistons, who fell 3 1/2 games back of New Jersey for the top playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

"The long road trip finally caught up with us but we can live with it once," said Wallace, whose team had played six of its previous seven games on the road, including a 19-point victory at Indiana on Tuesday night. "We can't let it happen again."

"I thought we caught a tired team, but I liked the way some of the guys played tonight," Knicks coach Don Chaney said. "I thought they really hung in there on the road against a very good team. It was obvious they were tired."

Neither team shot the ball well. New York made 42 percent of its attempts (36-of-86) while Detroit connected on just 39 percent (29-of-75).

"We just went in the tank offensively," said Jon Barry, who had just five points on 2-of-9 shooting. "We had shot after shot and I missed some good looks. I think maybe we felt too good about ourselves. We knew the Knicks were struggling and didn't have Allan Houston, but that doesn't mean we could just put on the uni(form) and beat them."

"We hung around and had some open shots but our effort just wasn't where it needed to be to beat a team that was really playing," Carlisle said. "It was a disappointing loss."

Detroit and New York both started the game shooting well. The Pistons took a 31-27 lead after one quarter after sinking 58 percent of their attempts (11-of-19), while the Knicks sank 54 percent (13-of-24).

Postell netted the Knicks' final 11 points of the second quarter as New York took a 52-48 lead into halftime.

After Wallace scored on a tip-in to give Detroit a 61-60 lead with 4:16 left in the third quarter, New York closed the period on an 11-2 run to take an eight-point advantage into the fourth quarter.

Neither team held a double-digit lead.

The Pistons shot 29 percent from the arc (5-of-17) and the Knicks 27 percent (4-of-15). Postell sank 2-of-3.

Though the Knicks only attempted 15 free throws, they made 13 (87 percent). Postell was a perfect 6-of-6 from the line.

"It was nice to see him get solid minutes and it was nice to see him perform offensively the way he did," Chaney said of Postell. "We still feel with his athletic ability he could become a much better defender and I think that will come if he continues to work."