PISTONS 105, KNICKS 79

Detroit makes easy work of N.Y.


Published: Friday, January 20, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 20, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
NEW YORK - Richard Hamilton scored 26 points, Rasheed Wallace added 23, and the Detroit Pistons beat the undermanned and overmatched New York Knicks 105-79 Thursday night for their sixth straight victory.
With Antonio Davis suspended for going into the stands the night before in Chicago and leading scorer Stephon Marbury still injured, the Knicks trailed by as many as 30 points and matched their worst loss of the season. They have dropped four in a row in a span of five nights.
Marbury sprained his left shoulder in Monday's loss to Minnesota.
With Antonio Davis and Marbury out, the Knicks were forced to start three rookies against what many consider the NBA's best starting five.
Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points for the Pistons, who have won both meetings this season against Knicks coach Larry Brown. He led Detroit to NBA Finals appearances in both his seasons with the Pistons, including the 2004 title.
This season's team looks better than either one Brown had. While improving the best start in franchise history to 32-5, the Pistons have won every game during their current winning streak by double digits.
Counting Wednesday's 117-89 victory at Atlanta, Detroit has won road games on consecutive nights by a combined 54 points. The Pistons didn't even need much from star guard Chauncey Billups, who scored only two points on 1-of-7 shooting.
Eddy Curry scored 26 points for New York and Channing Frye had 15.
The Pistons needed a little more than 9 minutes to open their first double-digit lead and were rarely challenged. They scored the final seven points of the first quarter to take a 28-13 lead, and they were still up 15 at halftime.
Hamilton had 16 points at halftime, shooting 7-of-9. With Wallace adding 15, the duo had two fewer points than New York after 24 minutes.
Prince scored 11 points in the third quarter, and the lead ballooned to 74-59 when he hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the period. The lead grew to 30 when Wallace and Maurice Evans nailed back-to-back 3s midway through the fourth.
By then, the fans had already begun booing the Knicks, though they cheered when Darko Milicic - rarely used under Brown - checked in at the next timeout. Milicic got another big cheer when he scored with 4:57 remaining and finished with six points in 6 minutes.
Notes: Ben Wallace blew a sure two points in the first quarter. Alone on a breakaway after making a steal, he seemed stuck between trying to dunk and laying the ball in and missed the shot. ... New York also lost by 26 on Sunday at Toronto. ... With Detroit in town, the Knicks celebrated "Retro Night" and had Motown recording artists Martha Reeves and the Vandellas perform at halftime.

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