Now, if only the Knicks can convince Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook not to show up at the Garden Thursday night then they might be onto something. Even with Carmelo Anthony holed up in the locker room receiving treatment for his aching right knee, the Knicks eventually overpowered a weak Detroit Pistons team that played without leading scorer Greg Monroe and two top reserve forwards, Charlie Villanueva and Andre Drummond. The bus ride from the team hotel to the empty Palace provided more of a challenge for Mike Woodson’s club as Amar’e Stoudemire once again thrived in Anthony’s absence, leading the Knicks to an 87-77 victory Wednesday night. “Our defense was solid,” Woodson said after the Knicks improved to 37-21 heading into Thursday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. “They only scored 77 points. I can’t complain too much about that. The only thing I can complain about is the (21) turnovers. That’s so not like us.” Raymond Felton committed seven turnovers, but the point guard, who will face Westbrook Thursday, scored a game-high 26 points on 10-for-15 shooting. However, the catalyst was Stoudemire, who scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half. Overall, he made eight of 12 shots and was simply too much for Detroit’s depleted frontcourt. “I’m very comfortable and confident in my offensive game right now,” Stoudemire said. “I put in so much work in during the offseason and during the year. It’s becoming pretty easy for me.” Stoudemire reached the team-imposed, 30-minute limit for the second straight game and showed again that he can be the Knicks’ second scoring option when Anthony returns, and No. 1 when Anthony is out.
Without Anthony, NY Knicks avoid disastrous loss to lowly Detroit Pistons
New York Daily News | Mar 7