Julius Randle regained his All-Star form, finishing with 27 points and 16 rebounds to help the host New York Knicks close out the season's first half with a 114-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.
Coming off a subpar 14-point performance in a loss to the Spurs on Tuesday, Randle shot 11-for-19 from the field and also had seven assists to help New York persevere despite playing without Derrick Rose for the second consecutive game due to the NBA's health and safety protocols.
Rose returned multiple negative tests for COVD-19 before the game, but the league ruled him ineligible to play against his former team.
All five Knicks starters scored in double figures. RJ Barrett scored 21 points to go along with five assists and four rebounds.
The Pistons spread the points out even more, finishing with eight players in double figures. Wayne Ellington led with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting.
The Knicks welcomed back Elfrid Payton, who missed four games with a right hamstring injury. He finished with 20 points and six rebounds on 7-for-14 shooting. Taj Gibson remained out with a sprained left ankle.
Reggie Bullock and Nerlens Noel each added 12 points for the Knicks, and Noel contributed 11 rebounds.
Rookie Immanuel Quickley, though, who entered averaging just over 12 points per game, played only 13 minutes and was held scoreless.
The Knicks shot 54.2 percent from the field, outrebounded the Pistons 47-29 and outscored them 66-38 in the paint.
Saddiq Bey had 14 points for Detroit, while Mason Plumlee finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Rodney McGruder had 13 points off the Pistons bench, and Dennis Smith Jr. added 12 points. Reserves Isaiah Stewart and Sekou Doumbouya each had 10.
Jerami Grant (left quad), Josh Jackson (illness), Frank Jackson (illness), Killian Hayes (right hip strain), Delon Wright (right groin strain), Jahlil Okafor (left knee surgery) and Blake Griffin (not with the team) were out for Detroit.
The Knicks open the second half with a four-game road trip beginning March 11 at Milwaukee. The Pistons also resume on the road with back-to-back games at Charlotte and Brooklyn on March 11 and 13.
--Field Level Media