Basketball / NBA

Knicks suffer 15th straight loss

AP

It was another relaxing fourth quarter for Blake Griffin.

Andre Drummond had 29 points and 20 rebounds, and the Detroit Pistons handed New York its 15th straight loss, beating the Knicks 120-103 on Friday night.

The Knicks rallied from a 21-point second-quarter deficit, tying the game in the third. But Detroit avoided a repeat of its collapse last weekend against the Los Angeles Clippers, when the Pistons lost after leading by 25.

Since that game, Detroit has won three in a row, and in two of those victories — including Friday’s — the game was so lopsided down the stretch that Griffin didn’t play at all in the final period.

“Beyond the wins, we’re playing with the right spirit and playing basketball the right way,” Griffin said. “The basketball gods reward you when you play the right way, and being able to take a fourth quarter off has been really nice — especially at this time of the season.”

Griffin scored 26 points for the Pistons, who traded Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson in deadline deals but kept enough of their top players to make a postseason berth still plausible. Detroit began the day 1½ games out of a playoff spot.

The Knicks have lost 28 of their last 30, and they looked overmatched at the start against Detroit, falling behind 21-5. It was 41-22 after one quarter, and the Pistons led 63-54 at halftime. Drummond had 20 points at the break.

New York kept chipping away in the third, but Detroit eventually recovered, leading 89-84 after three and pushing the lead back to double digits relatively quickly in the fourth.

Dennis Smith Jr. scored 31 points for the Knicks.

“We’ve just got to bring that intensity every night and if we do that, I think the wins will start to pile up,” Smith said. “Tonight, I thought we brought it, but it was on me. I’ve got to make free throws.”

Bucks 122, Mavericks 107

In Dallas, Giannis Antetokounmpo got the best of fellow Euro star Luka Doncic again, scoring 29 points and pulling down 17 rebounds as Milwaukee rolled to its sixth straight victory.

The Bucks outscored the Mavericks 80-26 in the paint, led by Antetokounmpo going 13 of 19 from the field while repeatedly powering his way to dunks and layups.

Brook Lopez scored 20 points for Milwaukee, which has surged to the best record in the NBA (41-13) with a pair of six-win runs on either side of a loss. One of those victories was over the Mavericks at home, when Antetokounmpo scored 31 points to Doncic’s 18 in a 10-point win.

Doncic scored 20 points but had just three rebounds and two assists.

Warriors 117, Suns 107

In Phoenix, Stephen Curry shook off a poor shooting performance by scoring 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help Golden State beat the Suns for the 18th consecutive time.

Klay Thompson scored 25 points for the Warriors, Kevin Durant added 21 points and DeMarcus Cousins 18.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 25 points and Deandre Ayton 23 for Phoenix.

Kings 102, Heat 96

In Sacramento, Buddy Hield scored 23 points and made a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left, and the Kings rallied from 11 down in the fourth quarter to beat Miami.

Bogdan Bogdanovic added 16 points, and Harrison Barnes had 12 in his Kings debut after being acquired from Dallas as part of a three-team trade.

In Other Games

76ers 117, Nuggets 110

Wizards 119, Cavaliers 106

Bulls 125, Nets 106

Pelicans 122, Timberwolves 117