Burks, Knicks bench power past short-handed Pistons 94-85

Dec 29, 2021, 4:42 AM | Updated: 7:33 pm
Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Walton Jr. fouls New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (18) during the sec...

Detroit Pistons guard Derrick Walton Jr. fouls New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (18) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (AP) — Alec Burks scored a season-high 34 points to lead a huge night from New York’s bench and the Knicks beat the short-handed Detroit Pistons 94-85 Wednesday.

Burks was a point shy of his career high and Immanuel Quickley added 18 points as the Knicks’ reserves combined for 65 points. RJ Barrett was the only starter in double figures at 15 points, and New York outscored Detroit 30-14 in the fourth quarter.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau rode his second unit during the fourth-quarter comeback. New York had a 65-7 advantage in bench points, and three of those reserves recently cleared the league’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

“We just felt we’ll find some people that can get something done. That’s what we did,” Thibodeau said. “In some ways, that was a blessing. Those guys were out and now they’re back in, so their energy was real high.”

Burks scored 19 points in the fourth quarter on a night when the team’s usual leading scorer, Julius Randle, was limited to five points on 2-for-11 shooting.

“We just came in and tried to play hard, tried to turn the game around,” Burks said. “(Looked to) make plays on the defensive end and share the ball on the offensive end.”

Thibodeau also credited Taj Gibson for his defense and screening. Gibson contributed four points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 28 minutes.

“Just digging down and making play after play,” Thibodeau said. “That’s what I love about those veterans. Alec and Taj are true pros.”

Saddiq Bey had a career-high 32 points for the Pistons, while Hamidou Diallo had a season-high 31 points with 13 rebounds.

“I’ve got to do more for us to get the win,” said Bey, the only usual starter in uniform for the Pistons. “I take that responsibility.”

The Pistons have lost four in a row and 18 of 19. A COVID-19 outbreak has left them with just four players from their usual 15-man roster, with seven replacements in on 10-day contracts and another on a two-way deal.

One of the four players on the main roster, Frank Jackson, injured his ankle in the first half and didn’t return.

New York led 48-41 at halftime. Detroit scored the first 11 points of the second half and also had a 14-2 run in the third quarter.

“It was a great effort from the new guys. They came in and competed as hard as they could for 48 minutes and played well,” Bey said. “Obviously, we have to get used to playing with each other. It was good to see the fight and effort and with some cohesion, we could be better down the stretch.”

Burks scored 10 points during the Knicks’ 14-0 run to start the fourth quarter. That gave New York a seven-point lead, and it led the remainder of the game.

TIP INS

The Knicks have won seven straight against the Pistons. … New York’s three-game winning streak matches its longest this season. The Knicks also won three straight Oct. 26-30. … Knicks guard Evan Fournier was a late scratch due to a sore right ankle. … Justin Robinson made his Pistons debut after playing a combined 20 games for Milwaukee and Sacramento this season. He had three points in 11 minutes. … Detroit’s Trayvon Palmer made his NBA debut in the first half. Palmer, 27, signed a 10-day contract on Tuesday. He went scoreless in 17 minutes.

UP NEXT

Knicks: At Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday.

Pistons: Host San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs praying coach, no sweeping changes

Across the ideological spectrum, there were predictions of dramatic consequences when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a public high school football coach’s right to pray on the field after games. Yet three months after the decision — and well into the football season — there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Qatar confirms COVID-19 test requirements for World Cup fans

GENEVA (AP) — Fans going to the World Cup in Qatar must show a negative COVID-19 test when they arrive as part of the host nation’s rules to combat COVID-19, organizers said Thursday. All visitors aged 18 and over must also download a government-run phone application tracking people’s movements and health status, called Ehteraz. “A […]
1 day ago
Puerto Rico players leave the court following their loss to Canada in their quarterfinal game at th...
Associated Press

Canada into women’s World Cup semis for 1st time since 1986

SYDNEY (AP) — No one on Canada’s roster was born the last time the team won a medal at the women’s World Cup. Now the Canadians are a win away from securing one for the first time since 1986, when they captured the bronze. Kia Nurse scored 17 points to lead a balanced Canada team […]
1 day ago
North Carolina State's Devin Leary (13) prepares to throw the ball during the first half of an NCAA...
Associated Press

Week 5 preview: No. 10 NC State and No. 5 Clemson take stage

What’s being called the biggest game in North Carolina State history and Florida State’s first game in four years as an AP Top 25 member have put the Atlantic Coast Conference in the national spotlight Saturday. Whether the games are played as scheduled depends on the path Hurricane Ian takes. No. 10 NC State is […]
1 day ago
FILE - Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala handles the ball during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Warriors-Wizards games in Japan to woo NBA fans, sponsors

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese basketball fans will get to see NBA stars up close when the reigning league-champion Golden State Warriors take on the Washington Wizards in two preseason games. Not surprisingly, Stephen Curry and Japanese-born Rui Hachimura will be the star attractions for each team. And as clearly as the logo of Japanese online […]
1 day ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge celebrates his 61st home run of the season, a two-run shot against th...
Associated Press

Maris Jr: Bonds, McGwire illegitimate, Judge to be HR king

TORONTO (AP) — Roger Maris Jr. considers the home run feats of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to be illegitimate and says Aaron Judge should be recognized as the holder of the big league season standard if the New York Yankees slugger hits No. 62. “He should be revered for being the actual […]
1 day ago
Burks, Knicks bench power past short-handed Pistons 94-85