Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Knicks have lost 15 straight games

The New York Knicks continue to keep their tank in peak condition as they roll through Detroit to collect another loss. Last night, the Knicks fell to the Detroit Pistons 120-103. Unfortunately, the Knicks were unable to avenge their loss to the Pistons at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. With Friday’s loss, the Knicks have lost 15 games in a row and only have one win in their last 25 games.

In the updated Zion Williamson standings, the Knicks claim the top spot and hold a half-game lead over the equally awful Cleveland Cavaliers. The tanking performance by the Knicks this season has been epic. If Adam Silver doesn’t bless New York’s heritage franchise with the number one pick, it’ll be very evident that the Knicks are cursed.

Pistons jump out to an early lead

Against the Pistons, the Knicks played their typical game. Early, the Pistons jumped out to a huge lead. What followed afterward was a Knicks comeback. There was actual hope for a Knicks win until reality took over and the Knicks flatlined in the fourth quarter. In the first quarter, the Knicks fell behind 41-22. To start the second quarter, the Knicks fell behind by 21 points. Luckily, the Knicks woke up, as usual, and cut into the Pistons lead.

The bench went to work early in the second quarter for the Knicks. Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier nailed back-to-back threes to cap off a 10-0 Knicks run to lower Detroit’s lead to eleven. Afterward, the Knicks maintained their momentum, and at halftime, the Pistons led 63-54. Third quarters have been an enigma for the Knicks all season, but last night, the Knicks dominated.

Knicks comeback to tie the game in the third, then collapse in the fourth

With 6:32 left in the third, Blake Griffin caught a lob from Andre Drummond for the alley-oop slam. That basket gave the Pistons a 77-66 advantage. On the following possession, Dennis Smith Jr. makes a driving layup to spark a 14-3 Knicks run to tie the game at 80. Smith Jr. was the main catalyst, scoring seven of the Knicks fourteen points during the run. As usual, the Knicks had opportunities to take the lead but didn’t capitalize on them. Detroit ended the third on a 9-4 run and carried momentum into the fourth quarter.

Within a blink of an eye, the Pistons went on a 17-4 to start the fourth and put the game to rest. Reggie Jackson made the final two baskets during that run to shut the game down. At this point in the season, the Knicks can only bank on moral victories and try to take positives from every game. In Detroit, the Knicks showed fight coming back from a 21-point deficit. On the road, that’s difficult to do, and with the way the Knicks have been playing lately, winning a game like that was very unlikely.

Dennis Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson continue to shine for the Knicks

As for the positives, the performances of Smith Jr. and Mitchell Robinson have been a sight to behold. Smith Jr. scored a career-high 31 points to go along with dropping eight dimes. He continues to show aggressiveness on offense, and he’s showing the strength to not back down from anyone.

Throughout the game, Smith Jr. was going back and forth with Griffin who’s much bigger than him. Eventually, he let his emotions get the best of him and pushed Griffin to the ground, which resulted in a flagrant foul in the third. With time, Smith Jr. will learn to control his emotions better, but it’s a positive sign that he didn’t back down from Griffin who’s twice his size. So far, the Knicks seem to have a steal in Smith Jr. from the blockbuster trade with the Dallas Mavericks.

Along with Smith Jr., Robinson continues to show his worth. He scored double-digit points again (11 points), but what was most impressive about his performance was his defense. On Detroit’s first possession in the second quarter, Robinson blocked back-to-back jumper attempts by Luke Kennard and Ish Smith. Robinson held a block party, in the cold temperatures, in Detroit and invited everybody. He finished the game with three blocks.

Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks stats

Robinson’s big brother, DeAndre Jordan also had an impact on the game. He contributed with a double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds) and had two blocks to his name.

Griffin, Drummond, and Jackson all scored at least 20 points for the Pistons. Griffin finished with 26 points. Drummond was the player of the game. He had a monster double-double (29 points and 20 rebounds) to go with three blocks, and the Pistons were an impressive +39 when he was on the court. Jackson scored an efficient 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting.

The next team to participate in the Knicks Tank-a-thon will be the Toronto Raptors, tonight at 7:30 pm at Madison Square Garden.

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