As he was walking out of the press conference room, having not talked about Danilo Gallinari at all, Mike D'Antoni, unsolicited, had a parting observation.

"Probably played his best game he played all year," D'Antoni said of his small forward.

Gallinari was brilliant in last night's 124-106 victory over the Pistons at Madison Square Garden, pumping in 29 points — on only 12 shots. He hit seven of them, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, and nailed all 11 free throw attempts.

Gallinari added five rebounds and paced everybody in the building with 11 fourth-quarter points.

It's the third time in the last five games that Gallinari reached the 20-point barrier. In those five, he's averaging 20.2 points and shooting 47 percent (28-of-60) from the floor.

"I was feeling pretty good," Gallinari said. "We had [Wilson Chandler] and Shawne [Williams] out. We all had to step up pretty good."

After missing six games early in the month with a sprained left knee, Gallinari returned and played well for three games — but nothing outstanding. His last five, though, he's emerged.