New York — Two weeks after opening the preseason with a lopsided loss, the Pistons returned to Madison Square Garden looking to spoil the Knicks’ flashy home opener.
There were lightshows during pregame introductions, dance presentations during timeouts and halftime, and celebrity appearances, including Knicks superfan Spike Lee.
However, it wasn’t long after the ball was tipped before Detroit’s plans were quickly thwarted in a 130-106 loss on Friday, the team’s ninth consecutive loss to the Knicks dating back to 2020.
The game got ugly quickly. Detroit (1-1) fell into a 25-point hole in the second quarter due to poor shooting — from the field and free-throw line — along with lackluster defense and foul trouble.
The Knicks (1-1) shot 52% from the field and were clicking on all cylinders from 3-point range, connecting on 42% of their attempts. Jalen Brunson led the balanced-scoring Knicks in his official Madison Square Garden debut with 17 points and six assists. Immanuel Quickly led the Knicks’ bench unit with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.
RJ Barrett had 16 points, three rebounds and four assists. Julius Randle added 15 points and six rebounds. Former Pistons guard Derrick Rose scored 13 points off the bench for New York, and after every basket he received a loud round of cheers from fans. He also added six assists.
Pistons forward Saddiq Bey, one of the team’s lone bright spots, scored a team-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points and four rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Detroit missed its first seven free throws until Bogdanovic connected on the first one at the 8:02 mark of the second quarter. The team finished 15-of-27 from the stripe. Cade Cunningham had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Coming off impressive rookie debuts against Orlando on Wednesday, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren had some difficulty on Friday. Both were limited due to foul trouble.
After nearly 22 minutes of action in Detroit’s season opener without committing a foul, Pistons rookie Jalen Duren picked up two early fouls within his first minute on the floor. Shortly after, he was called to the bench and didn’t return until the second quarter. It limited his effectiveness and threw off the Pistons’ rotations early in the game. He finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and four fouls
Despite his four fouls, Ivey played well when he was on the floor. He finished with a near double-double of 13 points, nine assists and four fouls. Killian Hayes also had four fouls.
Friday’s game was a homecoming for former Knicks-turned-Pistons Kevin Knox, Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks. Knox finished with two points and two rebounds off the bench. Noel was available, but did not suit up. Pistons coach Dwane Casey cautioned during his pre-game presser that Noel wasn’t 100% healthy yet due to plantar fasciitis, which kept him out of the preseason. Casey also said there is no timetable for Burks’ return as he recovers from a foot injury.
Friday’s rout to the Knicks was the first of a back-to-back that will conclude with a matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Saturday before ending the three-game road-trip on Tuesday at Washington.firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @MikeACurtis2