WHAT IT MEANS: When you don't score in the final 2 1/2 minutes, you don't deserve to win. That about sums it up for the Knicks, who used a 17-0 third-quarter run to seemingly take control but then blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead as the Pistons outscored them 29-17 in the fourth period. Carmelo Anthony was 0-for-5 from the field in the fourth and scored just six points, and Chauncey Billups committed eight turnovers. All in all, another bad loss to go with the ones the Knicks absorbed against Cleveland (twice) and Indiana (twice) since the big trade.
TURNING POINT: In the final 2 minutes and 36 seconds, the Knicks did not score, and the key play was an offensive rebound by Tayshaun Prince with 13 seconds left and the Pistons ahead by two. Will Bynum was fouled and made both free throws, and fittingly, Anthony and Billups both missed 3s to end the game.
DIFFERENCE MAKER: As it was the previous night, it was Toney Douglas. No, he didn't hit another 9 3-pointers, and no, the Knicks did not win. But he was effective playing alongside Billups and he did have four 3s to provide a big chunk of the bench scoring that was supplemented by Shawne Williams' 17 points and Roger Mason's 7 on 3-for-4 shooting.
STARTING FIVE: Jared Jeffries started at center for the second straight game, and coach Mike D'Antoni indicated he plans to stick with his current starting five for a few more games before he decides whether it will become permanent. "I’m getting kind of comfortable with how we’re going right now, but I might change it again," D'Antoni said.
WHAT'S NEXT: D'Antoni is giving the team a day off on Saturday in Milwaukee, where the Knicks will play the Bucks on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. EDT) before finishing their stretch of four games in five nights Monday at home against Boston.