Pistons flat in double-OT loss to lowly Knicks
Auburn Hills — The Pistons did not survive the hangover.
At least one player admitted the Pistons looked past the lowly New York Knicks, who walked out of The Palace on Friday with a stunning, 121-115, double overtime victory. The Knicks (11-46) own the worst record in the NBA and came in as double-digit underdogs.
"We have to do a better job of coming out hard no matter who we are playing," Pistons forward Greg Monroe said. "Playing with the same focus, the same intensity no matter who we are playing. We can't pick and choose games. We can't assume we will play the same every night."
Three days after a knockdown scrum with the Cleveland Cavaliers the Pistons turned sluggish and were outmuscled and outhustled by a team playing for a lottery pick.
It was a stunning and disappointing loss for the resurgent Pistons, who have now lost to the five worst teams in the NBA.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy warned his team for two days about looking past the lowly Knicks after the got jacked up three days earlier to play LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
This wasn't exactly what Van Gundy ordered. He wanted to rest players for Saturday night's road game against the Washington Wizards. But the Pistons will go in as weary road warriors.
The game was decided when guard Shane Larkin drove the lane, made his shot and was fouled giving the Knicks a 115-111 lead with 28 seconds remaining in the second overtime.
"Once we got behind everybody wanted to be a hero," Van Gundy said. "We could not get rebounds so we could not run, just a very bad performance."
The Pistons are now one game behind Brooklyn for the final playoff spot.
The Pistons lost their shooting touch. They shot just 40.2 percent for the game and needed to get hot reach that. Reggie Jackson (16 points) shot 5-for-24, Tayshaun Prince missed all five of his shots and if you throw out Jodie Meeks (16 points) the rest of the bench was a combined 4-18 from the floor.
Jackson's shooting was off but he did not turn playmaker.
"He makes the decisions he makes," Van Gundy said. "Not a good night. The last two nights, good nights. Tonight not a good night."
The Pistons led by 18 but could not hold off the Knicks and blew a five-point lead during the final 31 seconds of regulation.
Greg Monroe led the Pistons with 28 points and 13 rebounds but missed critical free throws down the stretch. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 19 points. Jodie Meeks was the only effective player off the bench with 16 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
Andrea Bargnani had 25 points and 12 rebounds for New York.
Pistons at Wizards
Tip-off: 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Outlook: Both teams lost Friday night to two of the worst teams in the league. The Pistons have lost two in a row and the Wizards five in a row including a game this week at The Palace.