Pistons vs Knicks Game Preview - Jan. 7, 2012
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Carmelo Anthony may be enjoying his best scoring stretch in over two years, but the New York Knicks have just one win to show for it.
Facing the Detroit Pistons may be just what New York needs to begin building momentum.
Anthony will try to overcome a sore hip and help the Knicks win consecutive games for the first time this season Saturday night against the Pistons.
Anthony ranks among the league leaders with 29.1 points per game. He has scored at least 30 in three straight contests - averaging 34.7 - but New York (3-4) has only won once in that span.
He came up huge in Friday's 99-96 victory over winless Washington. Anthony shook off a sore right hip and scored 37 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining.
"I was hurt. I was just praying it went in. I wasn't going to try to drive at all, I knew I didn't have any push off on my right leg," Anthony said.
The four-time All-Star hasn't reached the 30-point mark in four consecutive games since a five-game run with Denver from Dec. 8-16, 2009.
It appears the Knicks may not need another big scoring effort from Anthony against the Pistons (2-5), who are among the lowest scoring teams in the NBA at 84.9 points per game while surrendering 93.3.
New York, however, allowed the Wizards to have their most productive offensive performance of the season, two days after doing the same against Charlotte in a 118-110 loss at home.
"We're a long ways from being any good, but we have the spirit and we are fighting," coach Mike D'Antoni said.
Anthony, though, may be looking to erase the memory of his last visit to Detroit on March 8, when he turned in his worst game as a Knick. He missed 10 of 12 shots - all five in the fourth quarter - to finish with six points in a 99-95 loss, ending New York's four-game win streak in the series.
The Knicks are averaging 114.2 points in their last five meetings with the Pistons.
Amar'e Stoudemire has averaged 30.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in three games against Detroit since joining the Knicks.
He's shown no adverse effects from a sprained left ankle that sidelined him for two games. Stoudemire has totaled 48 points and 24 rebounds in two contests since returning.
The Pistons are trying to avoid their second three-game skid of the season after falling 96-73 at Philadelphia on Friday. The listless performance included matching a season-low 36.0 percent shooting from the floor while missing all 10 3-point attempts.
"When the dam exploded, it really exploded," coach Lawrence Frank said.
It's unclear if Detroit will have guards Ben Gordon and Rodney Stuckey back. Gordon, the team leader with 16.2 points per game, sat out Friday due to personal reasons, while Stuckey was absent with a sore groin.
Gordon averages 18.7 points in 23 games against the Knicks.
Greg Monroe may be looked at to pick up the scoring slack. The center matched his season high with 22 points while pulling down seven rebounds against the 76ers.