New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons Pick & Prediction MARCH 25th 2024

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An afternoon game in the return from a challenging road trip occasionally develops into a trap game for playoff teams.

The New York Knicks, however, responded well enough and then received some favorable results in the standings.

With an eye on third place in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks play the second of four straight games against losing teams Monday night when they host the Detroit Pistons.

The Knicks (42-28) clinched a second straight winning season when they pulled away in the fourth quarter of a 105-93 win over the struggling Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. That came two days after they finished off a 3-1 trip with a 13-point loss to the Denver Nuggets.

New York won for the fifth time in six games following a stretch of nine losses in 13 games that coincided with numerous injuries.

“I don’t know the standings. I don’t know what this win does for that, but we needed this one,” New York’s Josh Hart said. “We had a good road trip, but a tough loss in Denver with a quick turnaround. We needed this.”

A day after beginning a stretch that will see them visit the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs, the Knicks pulled within a half-game of the Cleveland Cavaliers. New York also is a half-game ahead of the fifth-place Orlando Magic.

New York remains shorthanded as OG Anunoby will miss his fourth straight game due to injury maintenance on his right elbow.

Without Anunoby, along with Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, against the Nets, Donte DiVincenzo and Miles McBride combined for 57 points on a 21-of-40 shooting from the field, including 10 3-pointers.

DiVincenzo scored 13 points in the fourth when the Knicks pulled away by allowing Brooklyn only 16 points. New York also allowed fewer than 100 points for the sixth time in eight games since giving up 116 in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on March 5.

The Knicks have won the past 14 meetings with the Pistons, including a six-point home win Nov. 30 and a 113-111 win in New York Feb. 26 when Hart hit the game-winning layup with 2.8 seconds left.

Detroit (12-59) is on the verge of clinching consecutive 60-loss seasons for the first time since going 16-66 in 1979-80 and 21-61 in 1980-81.

The Pistons are on a six-game losing streak after winning three of four. Five of the losses are by double-digits, including Sunday’s 114-101 loss to the visiting New Orleans Pelicans when Detroit allowed 36 points to Zion Williamson, 58 points in the paint and 50.6 percent shooting.

The Pistons played without five rotation players. Aside from Ausar Thompson and Isaiah Stewart, who are out for the season, the Pistons were without Cade Cunningham (knee), Jalen Duren (back) along with Simone Fontecchio (toe). The absences resulted in their 33rd different starting lineup.

Cunningham was out for injury management but could play Monday, and his return could help the Pistons avoid another rough opening quarter. They shot 4-of-19, missing all 10 of their 3-point tries and scoring 10 points.

“We just turned it over in the first quarter,” Detroit coach Monty Williams said. “The ball wasn’t even sticky, we just played in the crowd.”

-Field Level Media

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