Blake Griffin scores 29 points, Pistons beat Knicks in MSG 105-92
February 6, 2019
1:02 a.m. ET
Behind a big first quarter, scoring punch from Blake Griffin and tough rebounding by Andre Drummond, the Detroit Pistons beat the New York Knicks 105-92 in Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.
Griffin was offensively dominant, shooting 10 of 17 for 29 points, six rebounds and eight assists. He did commit five turnovers, but was essentially a point-forward of sorts tonight and played the role well.
Drummond, the NBA's leading rebounder, continued doing what he does: make defensive plays, take up space and pound the glass. He had 13 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.
Reggie Jackson, whose play is under constant examination in Detroit as he looks to match expectations, stepped up, adding 20 points and seven assists.
For the Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr. continued to find his way on his new squad, scoring 25 points with six assists, though on 25 FG attempts. The team hopes he'll prove to be a building block for the future.
A Knicks bright-spot in the loss was an excellent offensive burst by Mitchell Robinson, who in the first half hit 6 of 7 shots, including an array of dunks, for 13 points and 10 rebounds in 23.5 minutes off the bench. But other than starting forward Kevin Knox's 11 points, no other Knick scored in double digits.
Both teams started strong, shooting well in a high-scoring first quarter led by Griffin and won by Detroit, who never gave up the lead.
The Pistons won a competitive second quarter, by one point.
Then came a court-wide struggle. "That third quarter was mud for both teams," said Knicks head coach David Fizdale. "We really got after each other. We have to make shots. We probably had four or five wide open threes."
The Pistons were able to win the fourth quarter by six points, completing their 13-point victory.
While the visiting squad has a clear core -- their two big men up front -- for the Knicks, this is a time of evaluation for the future. "I just want to see how it all looks together," said Fizdale. "We don't know, these guys could end up being part of our future. I really want to empower these veterans to lead, and to really show these guys the way when they are out there."
The game's first basket was a lot to Drummond, who of course did what he does and dunked it. For the Knicks, the evening's opening basket was their version of that -- Jordan, inside, not dunking but finishing right at the rim.
Griffin cannot be allowed to go one-on-one without help defense.
Knicks forward Noah Vonleh continues to show that when his feet are set, he can hit open threes.
Knox is worth watching on the fast break. Every opportunity the Knicks have to run with him should be explored.
Inside Hoops caught up with players from both teams after the game for interviews going beyond tonight's action that will be published soon.
Inside Hoops Detroit Pistons vs New York Knicks game recap