Pistons drop preseason opener to Knicks, 117-96

Detroit News

New York — Preseason games typically don’t mean much, but for a young team like the Pistons with several new additions, they can be used as measuring sticks to gauge progress.

After spending the first week of training camp playing against each other, the Pistons played their first exhibition game under the bright lights in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, and the contrast was evident.

The Knicks, led by RJ Barrett, proved too much as the re-tooled Pistons suffered a 117-96 loss on Tuesday night.

Pistons coach Dwane Casey opted to go with a starting lineup of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Bojan Bogdanovic and Isaiah Stewart.

Scoring was well-balanced among the group, led by Ivey’s 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Bogdanovic served as a threat from the perimeter and added 11 points and went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Killian Hayes appeared comfortable leading the second unit, finishing with 11 points and 5 assists. Isaiah Livers came off the bench and added a scoring punch from distance 13 points, including three 3’s.

The Knicks were led by their newly-constructed “Big 3” of Brunson, who signed with New York in the offseason, Barrett and Julius Randle. In his first game with the Knicks, Brunson scored 16 points and dished out 5 assists. Fresh off signing a four-year extension, Barrett poured in a team-high 21 points and Randle added 15 points and 6 rebounds.

The Pistons shot poorly on Tuesday with 32-of-79 of their shots finding the bottom of the net. New York showed some efficiency with 51.1% from the field.

Shooting the ball was a problem, but to make matters worse, the Pistons couldn’t take care of the ball and had 21 turnovers. The giveaways led to 26 points by New York, including 31 fast break points.

The youthful Pistons are expected to spend the next couple of days practicing in New York before traveling to New Orleans for their second preseason game against Zion Williamson and the Pelicans on Friday.

mcurtis@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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