Pistons at Knicks Game Preview - Feb. 4, 2013
Regular Season Game #49The New York Knicks continued their dominance of the Detroit Pistons on another continent last month.
They'll be in much more familiar surroundings Monday night. Amare Stoudemire looks to build on his best performance of the season as the Knicks try to hand the Pistons their seventh straight loss at Madison Square Garden.
New York (30-15) beat Detroit 102-87 in London on Jan. 17 for its ninth win in the past 10 meetings. The Knicks are averaging 111.1 points during that stretch, and they're even better at 114.3 during their six-game home winning streak in the series.
They won the most recent matchup in Manhattan 121-100 on Nov. 25, while Stoudemire was recovering from left knee surgery. He'll be on the Garden court this time, and he's averaging 17.5 points on 77.8 percent shooting during New York's 4-0 start to this five-game homestand.
Stoudemire's latest effort was nearly historic, as he connected on all 10 of his shots and scored 21 points as the Knicks used a 38-4 run to bury Sacramento 120-81 on Saturday. The big man finished one basket shy of tying the team record for field goals without a miss, held by Johnny Newman and Bernard King.
Stoudemire is averaging 13.5 points while coming off the bench in 15 games since returning from surgery.
"Dominate," Stoudemire said. "Dominate is the main objective. That's the only thought that I think when I go in the game. It feels great to provide a certain amount of energy to get us over the hump."
He's done his part against the Pistons (18-30) as a member of the Knicks, putting up 23.0 points per game in seven meetings. He scored 17 in just 20 minutes in London, hitting 11 of 12 from the free-throw line.
Carmelo Anthony, second in the NBA with an average of 28.5 points, had 26 in that game. He should be fresh after New York only needed nine from him Saturday - matching a season low - in 27 minutes.
With five games still to play, the Knicks already have their highest win total before the All-Star game since they entered the break at 34-14 during the 1996-97 season.
"We felt like we had a great team, a team with a lot of possibilities in training camp and we have to stick by it," said center Tyson Chandler, who has 20 rebounds in each of the last two games. "It's a long journey for us but we have the potential to be special."
The Pistons have dropped five of seven while surrendering an average of 101.3 points, but they may have Jose Calderon available for the first time Monday. The Spanish point guard has had his team debut delayed due to visa issues after being acquired from Toronto in a three-team trade last week. He averaged 11.1 points and 7.4 assists with the Raptors this season.
Detroit could have used him Sunday in a 98-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, especially early. The Pistons fell behind by as many as 18 in the third quarter. "We weren't moving the ball, we were over-dribbling the basketball and we weren't guarding anyone," coach Lawrence Frank said.
Their second-half rally fell just short when Andre Drummond's last-second alley-oop attempt didn't go.
Greg Monroe finished with 20 points and is averaging 19.7 on 59.0 percent shooting in his last six games. Will Bynum, who had 22 points against the Knicks last month, added 18 and 10 assists versus the Lakers.