Randle lifts New York over struggling Detroit

Julius Randle collected 22 points and 12 rebounds and the host New York Knicks clamped down defensively in the fourth quarter to post a 96-84 victory over the Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.

The Knicks won for the third time in their last 11 games and beat Detroit for the second straight time after losing the previous eight meetings.

New York grabbed the lead for good midway through the third quarter and then outscored the Pistons 24-13 in the fourth quarter.

Randle posted his 29th double-double of the season and scored 17 of his points in the second half as the Knicks also allowed their second-fewest points of the season and held Detroit to 37 points after halftime.

Elfrid Payton added 16 points and six assists as the Knicks shot 43.9 percent from the field. Mitchell Robinson also posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks held a commanding 51-35 rebounding edge and dominated inside by outscoring Detroit 54-32 in the paint.

Rookie RJ Barrett added 12 points and his 3-pointer with 5:18 remaining in the third gave the Knicks the lead for good.

Christian Wood led Detroit with 22 points but the Pistons saw their losing streak reach four games and also lost for the 11th time in 12 games. Bruce Brown added 16 as Detroit shot 36.2 percent, missed 15 of 19 shots in the fourth quarter, and were held under 85 points for the fourth time this season.

The Pistons held a 61-60 lead on a layup by Wood 5:27 left in the third before the Knicks ripped off nine straight points to get a 69-61 lead on Barrett’s finger roll with 3:20 remaining in the quarter. Detroit then finished the third with a 10-3 flurry to get within 72-71 entering the fourth.

New York started the fourth quarter with a 17-6 spurt and took an 89-77 lead on a 3-pointer by Randle with 4:40 remaining. The Knicks then finished it off in the final minute when Payton lobbed an alley-oop to Robinson for a dunk to make it 94-82.

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