NOAH TRISTER,AP Sports Writer
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Raymond Felton scored 26 points, and the New York Knicks pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Detroit Pistons 87-77 on Wednesday night despite Carmelo Anthony’s absence.
Anthony sat out after injuring his right knee Monday, but New York went on a 16-0 run in the fourth to put away the game. The Pistons were without big man Greg Monroe, who has a sore left ankle, and Detroit coach Lawrence Frank missed the game because of a personal matter.
The Knicks turned the ball over 11 times in the first quarter, but they still led 44-38 at the half. Brandon Knight scored 17 points for the Pistons and led a third-quarter rally, but Detroit managed only 12 points in the fourth.
The Knicks have won five of six heading into Thursday’s home game against Oklahoma City.
The Pistons were actually without their top two big men because rookie Andre Drummond is out with a stress fracture in his back. Amare Stoudemire took advantage, scoring 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, but Tyson Chandler scored only two points.
New York ended up taking 35 shots from 3-point range against the undermanned Pistons, making 13.
The Knicks trailed 73-71 when they went on their decisive run, which included two 3-pointers by J.R. Smith, one by Jason Kidd and another by Felton to cap it.
Smith scored 20 points.
Assistant coach Brian Hill, filling in for Frank, joked before the game that he might need a blindfold and a cigarette because of the difficult task ahead. Despite all of New York’s early turnovers, the Pistons trailed by 15 in the second quarter before a mild rally before halftime.
Detroit controlled the start of the third as well. Knight scored 11 of his team’s 13 points in one stretch and gave the Pistons a 65-55 lead when he made a 3-pointer with 2:44 left, but Detroit didn’t score for the rest of the quarter.
Felton scored the last eight points of the period — including two 3s — to tie it at 65.
The Knicks also scored the first six points of the fourth, but Detroit answered with eight in a row and took a 73-71 lead on two free throws by Rodney Stuckey.
Detroit’s Jose Calderon had 10 points and 16 assists.
NOTES: The Knicks finished with 21 turnovers to Detroit’s 20. … New York outrebounded the Pistons 48-36. … Detroit’s Jason Maxiell scored 14 points, including three early dunks.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)