Crawford Carries Knicks Over Pistons
New York 105, Detroit 103
NEW YORK, March 17 (Ticker) -- Larry Brown might be rethinking his move from the "Motor City" to the "Big Apple." He appeared to have luck on his side Friday.
Wearing green uniforms to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the New York Knicks stunned the Detroit Pistons, 105-103, as Jamal Crawford scored 15 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning shot with 2.2 seconds left.
Crawford has seen his ups and downs this season but was brilliant when the Knicks needed him the most. The six-year veteran came off the bench to make 7-of-10 shots in helping the Knicks shoot a season-best 57 percent (41-of-72) overall.
The league-leading Pistons were limited at the start of the fourth quarter as they played without two of their All-Stars. Forward Rasheed Wallace was ejected for arguing at the 11:03 mark of the third period and guard Richard Hamilton followed him seven minutes later after he threw the ball into the stands.
"I just wish that we had something where like after the game I got to talk about what happened down the stretch, why I did this or that," said Detroit guard Chauncey Billups, who scored 24 points. "I wish we had something where the refs had to do it and explain what happened and why they did this and that. It just ain't fair, man."
"I think Rip (Hamilton) was frustrated," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "He threw the ball at the other end of the backboard in frustration. I don't know if he should have been thrown out of the game. At that point, it was a pretty heated situation for both teams."
Detroit's Maurice Evans and Tayshaun Prince had back-to-back three-point plays to tie the game at 92-92 with 3:47 remaining. Crawford followed by scoring six straight points for the Knicks to provide a 98-95 edge two minutes later.
Billups nailed a pull-up jumper to give the Pistons a 101-99 edge with 41 seconds left. Crawford responded by converting a three-point play and Eddy Curry split two free throws as New York rebuilt a two-point lead.
Prince made two foul shots to tie it with 13 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Crawford's go-ahead shot over Billups.
"I was thinking about the Toronto game," Crawford said. "It was the same kind of shot I got that game and it went for me. I kind of got Chauncey with the crossover early, so I wanted to keep going straight without hesitating."
Detroit had a chance to tie, but former Knick Antonio McDyess, who scored 18 points, missed a pair from the line after being fouled by Malik Rose with 0.7 seconds left.
"It matters a lot. We got 18 games left and I didn't see any (selfishness) and I saw guys trying to win, trying to share the ball," Brown said. "I saw them playing hard and that's all we can do from now on. We got to find out who in that locker room is committed to doing that every night. That's the thing that's so important."
"A win against those guys, I'll take it," said Rose, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. "I don't care if they didn't have their starting five, I'll take it. I won't get too excited because they didn't have their best two players."
Curry had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Steve Francis scored 15 points for the Knicks, who overcame 22 turnovers.
"A lot of guys contributed," said Knicks swingman Jalen Rose, who scored 12 points. "Jamal made a huge shot at the end of the game. We didn't get down. A lot of times when things don't go your way and you only have 19 wins or so on the season, you tend to get discouraged."
Prince scored 15 points and Ben Wallace had 10 and seven rebounds for Detroit, which shot 47 percent (38-of-80) and lost to New York for the first in seven meetings.
The Pistons appeared to have the game under control in the second quarter as they took a 51-35 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left before settling for seven-point bulge at the break.
"It was just kind of downhill," Billups said. "They got a little confidence going and they got back into the game and they came out victorious."
"It is what it is," said Ben Wallace, who added two blocks. "We had control of the game and then it went out of hand. We didn't take care of business when we supposed to and that's what it came to."