NEW YORK, Feb. 17 (Ticker) -- Every time the New York Knicks make a move, they seem to get better.

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Stephon Marbury had 28 points and nine assists and Anfernee Hardaway scored five of his 17 points in the final two minutes as the Knicks posted a 92-88 victory over the slumping Detroit Pistons.

The Knicks were nine games under .500 when they hired Isiah Thomas as president of basketball operations on December 23. They are 16-9 since hiring Thomas, who has pulled off two major trades and changed coaches.

New York is 12-8 since acquiring Marbury and Hardaway in a trade with Phoenix on January 5 and has won 11 of 16 games after hiring coach Lenny Wilkens a week later. Keith Van Horn was traded in a three-way deal with Milwaukee and Atlanta on Sunday and the Knicks responded with another win.

The Knicks squandered a 13-point lead before Hardaway buried a 3-pointer to forge an 82-82 tie with 1:47 left.

"(Detroit) makes you work for everything you got," Hardaway said. "They are very scrappy. You just have to stay aggressive. I tried to do that tonight and some shots went down for me."

Marbury gave New York the lead for good 39 seconds later, when made three free throws after getting fouled by Detroit's Chauncey Billups on a 3-point attempt.

"When opportunity knocks, guys are doing it," Marbury said. "Guys want that opportunity to step up and make big shots. Penny stepped up tonight again."

Billups cut the lead to one with a pair of free throws at the other end, but Marbury buried a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give the Knicks an 88-84 edge with 40.4 seconds to go.

Billups halved the lead with a long jumper with 26 seconds left and Detroit waited to foul before sending Hardaway to the line, where he buried a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining.

"We didn't want to foul with 10 seconds to go," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "That was a miscommunication. They probably would have made both of them anyway, but we still would've had some more time left on the clock."

The Pistons again cut the lead on a jumper by Billups, but Othella Harrington sealed the game with a pair of free throws as the Knicks were perfect in 17 attempts from the line.

"We work at every part of the game, free throws included," Wilkens said. "When you get to the line, it's an opportunity. We are not going to shoot 17-for-17 every night, but you've got to make hay when you can."

Harrington and Kurt Thomas had 14 points apiece as New York avoided its first three-game losing streak under Wilkens.

Tim Thomas, who was acquired in the trade for Van Horn, had two points and four rebounds in nine minutes in his debut with the Knicks.

Billups scored 26 points and All-Star Ben Wallace added 10 and 13 rebounds for the struggling Pistons, who were held to just 36 percent (33-of-92) shooting from the floor.