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    Fournier shows way as Knicks send Pistons crashing back to earth

    Dec 22, 2021
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    Evan Fournier goes 9 for 24 in 41 minutes of action.
    PHOTO: AP

    NEW YORK — Evan Fournier scored 22 points, Julius Randle and Kemba Walker each had 21 and the New York Knicks won at home for the first time in almost a month, beating the Detroit Pistons, 105-91, on Tuesday night (Wednesday, Manila time).

    Mitchell Robinson had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who had dropped five straight at Madison Square Garden since beating the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 23. They are just 6-10 at home.

    Walker was out of the rotation entirely but started a second straight game with six players in health and safety protocols and Derrick Rose out again with ankle soreness. Walker had eight rebounds and five assists.

    Saben Lee scored 16 points for the Pistons, who had lost 14 in a row before beating Miami on Sunday. Saddiq Bey and Cory Joseph each had 15.

    The Knicks won for just the third time in 11 games overall. They weren't particularly sharp, but got easy baskets when Robinson either caught lob passes or grabbed offensive rebounds for dunks.

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    He was on the bench to begin the game but started the second half, when the Knicks broke it open.

    New York led 48-37 at halftime and opened the third quarter with 11 straight points. Fournier had the first basket and made a 3-pointer for the last, which gave the Knicks a 59-37 lead less than two minutes in.

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    The Knicks didn't do a lot from there and Detroit got some good play from Trey Lyles late in the quarter, cutting it to single digits before New York took an 80-69 lead into the fourth.

    The Pistons got it down to five in the final quarter but Robinson had a couple of follow shots, Fournier and Walker made 3s and it was back up to 13 about three minutes later.

    New York remained without RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Kevin Knox II and Miles McBride because of the protocols.

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    The Pistons played without coach Dwane Casey for personal reasons. Assistant coach Rex Kalamian ran the team, as he did when Casey missed a game last week.

    Kemba Walker

    Kemba Walker starts, shooting 8 for 21 in 40 minutes of play. PHOTO: AP

    TIP-INS

    Pistons: No. 1 draft pick Cade Cunningham had seven points, nine rebounds and eight assists, but shot 2 for 13. ... Detroit has dropped eight straight on the road.

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    Knicks: Randle grabbed 11 rebounds. ... New York has won the last six meetings.

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    MIDSEASON MOVES

    Because they are so short-handed, the Knicks signed swingman Damyean Dotson and guard Matt Mooney to 10-day contracts Tuesday. Dotson was a second-round pick of the Knicks in 2017 and spent his first three seasons in New York.

    Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said teams prepare during the offseason for changes that will come during the season.

    "So when a guy comes in — and in some cases guys who have been here before," Thibodeau said, "you start off with a small package of things that if they get into the game, these are the things that we're going to do so they have an understanding, and you continue to add. But it's all part of a normal season. What is unusual is multiple guys at the same time, so then you have to put a little extra into that."

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    UP NEXT

    Pistons: Visit the Miami Heat on Thursday.

    Knicks: Host the Washington Wizards on Thursday.

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    Evan Fournier goes 9 for 24 in 41 minutes of action.
    PHOTO: AP
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