1. Tobias Harris scored a season-high 28 points in the Pistons 112-92 victory on Saturday night. Detroit’s offense was clicking throughout the contest as it posted 35 first quarter points and 31 in the second period. On the flip side, six Knicks registered double figures in a balanced effort while Kristaps Porzingis led the club with 18 points and six swats. With the victory, the Pistons took a 2-1 season series lead with one contest remaining against New York scheduled for March 27 at MSG.
2. Head coach Jeff Hornacek used Chasson Randle as the back-up point guard on Saturday night. Randle played 19 minutes off the pine and posted 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting behind the arc. He also dished out three assists and grabbed three rebounds. Willy Hernangomez started at the center spot next to Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony in the front court. The rookie finished with 14 points and nine boards in 27 minutes of action.
3. Anthony should reach a Knicks milestone on Sunday evening in Brooklyn. The 32-year old needs just five points to hit the 10,000 mark for the orange and blue, which is good for seventh on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Anthony trails Richie Guerin by 397 points and Carl Braun by 454 points to enter the top five.
4. Nets leading scorer Brook Lopez was sidelined in the team’s previous contest against the Mavericks due to a sprained ankle. The injury was suffered in the loss to the Hawks and head coach Kenny Atkinson doesn’t believe the setback is too serious. Without Lopez in the lineup, Atkinson featured a small-ball lineup to start on Saturday with Carris LeVert, Randy Foye, and Jeremy Lin in a three-guard set next to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Quincy Acy. At 6-7, Acy is the tallest player in that lineup and the Nets are void of a true 7-footer to replace Lopez at the center position.
5. Sunday’s matchup is the third meeting between the two teams in the four-game set this year. New York owns a 2-0 season series lead behind a 110-96 win at the Garden on November 9 and a 95-90 victory on February 1. The bench crew led the charge in the recent win as Hernangomez posted 16 points and 16 rebounds while Sasha Vujacic made team history by connecting on a pair of four-point plays. After tonight’s game, the two squads will complete the season series in four days at MSG.
by Jonah Ballow