Anthony returns, Knicks rout Pistons to end slide

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points in his return to the lineup, Landry Fields added 16 of his 18 in a flawless first half, and the New York Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 113-86 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Tyson Chandler had 17 points and Amare Stoudemire 15 for the Knicks, whose slumbering offence awoke in just their second victory in 11 games. They shot 60 per cent from the field — amazingly the first time they bettered 50 per cent all season — and fell just a point short of matching their highest-scoring effort.

Anthony had missed two straight games because of injuries to his ankle, wrist and thumb, finally shutting it down after shooting just 31.7 per cent in six games since he was hurt. But he drove easily and shot well after deciding shortly before the game he was ready to go, going 9 of 14 from the field and handing out six assists.

Jonas Jerebko scored 15 points and Greg Monroe had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost their sixth straight and are struggling to even be competitive while playing without Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva and Will Bynum.

Fields, who has played better lately after struggling early, made all six shots in the first half, including four 3-pointers. The Knicks made 23 of 35 shots (65.7 per cent) in the first half, going 6 of 8 behind the arc, and kept it up the rest of the night.

The Knicks have been in a season-long shooting slump, coming into the game 29th in the NBA in field-goal percentage at 41.4 per cent. But they’ve shredded the Pistons twice, dunking 13 times in a 103-80 victory on Jan. 7 in Detroit.

All 12 players scored, with Bill Walker chipping in 11 points off the bench.

The Pistons trailed by double digits after one quarter of their last two games, and were quickly down 17-7 in this one. They cut into the lead before Fields and Anthony made 3-pointers in the final 25 seconds of the period to give New York a 33-24 lead. Detroit kept it close until late in the second, but New York finished the half with a flurry and blew it open easily in the third quarter.

New York had botched home games against sub-.500 teams Charlotte, Toronto, Phoenix and Milwaukee, but couldn’t afford to blow this one with a back-to-back-to-back set that includes Chicago and Boston starting Thursday.

They got plenty of rest for that, emptying the bench early in the fourth

Notes: The Pistons finish a stretch of three games in three nights Wednesday at New Jersey, where coach Lawrence Frank was the Nets’ coach from 2004 until he was fired after losing his first 16 games in the 2009-10 season. … Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said he doesn’t expect Baron Davis to play until next week. Davis is still recovering from a herniated disk in his back and started practicing last week, but wasn’t ready to debut during their four-game road trip and sat out practice Monday. D’Antoni said Davis didn’t have a setback, but the team felt it was better to give him more time.

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