The New York Knicks topped the Detroit Pistons 102-87 in London, using a 16-0 run in the opening minutes to build a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points yesterday to lead the Knicks to the victory at O2 Arena in the U.K. capital, while Amar’e Stoudemire had 17 in his highest-scoring game since missing the first two months of the season following knee surgery.
“It felt good out there,” said Anthony, who helped the U.S. win an Olympic gold medal five months ago at the same stadium. “I definitely had some flashbacks out there. Running out there on the court, just being in the O2 Arena.”
Fans bought all the tickets for the Knicks-Pistons matchup within four days, the fastest sellout for one of the seven National Basketball Association games held in London.
The Knicks, who flew from New York on Jan. 14, hit their first six shots of the game and took a 16-2 lead. The Knicks led 29-17 after one quarter as Anthony scored 11 points, hitting 3-of-4 three-point attempts.
The Knicks led by as many as 20 points in the first half before the Pistons pulled within 67-63 with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left in the third quarter. New York responded with an 8-0 run to take a 10-point lead into the final quarter and cruise to their fifth straight win against the Pistons.
Tyson Chandler added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks, who won their second game in a row following a three-game losing streak. New York, which sits atop the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division with a 25-13 record, doesn’t play again until a Jan. 21 home game against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Pistons, who hadn’t played since Jan. 12, lost for the third time in four games to fall to 14-25. Will Bynum scored a team-high 22 points to lead Detroit, which now returns home for a Jan. 20 game against the Boston Celtics.