Brunson scores 42, Knicks send Pistons to franchise-record 16th straight loss

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NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 42 points, Julius Randle had 29 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks sent the Detroit Pistons to their franchise-record 16th consecutive loss with a 118-112 victory Thursday night.

The Pistons (2-17) completed a winless November, having not won a game since a victory over Chicago on Oct. 28 left them 2-1.

RJ Barrett had 15 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 12, including two crucial 3-pointers down the stretch for the Knicks, who have won their last two games.

New York improved to 9-0 against teams who currently have losing records.

“There’s a team that can come in and beat you any given night,” Brunson said. “So, we weren’t focusing on what their record was or (what) their losing streak was coming in. We were focused on what they’re good at, how they can beat you and the things they excel at.”

Cade Cunningham scored 31 points and Killian Hayes shot 10 for 13 from the field to finish with 23 for the Pistons. They have also lost 13 in a row against the Knicks.

A night after losing by 26 points to the Los Angeles Lakers at home, Cunningham thought he and his teammates got their edge back despite coming up short at Madison Square Garden.

Detroit shot 53.1% against the Knicks after a 41.2% showing against the Lakers.

“We can definitely build off it,” Cunningham said. “Yesterday’s (performance), you have no chance in this league playing like that. But today, that’s got to be our baseline.”

New York avoided what would have been a letdown loss after beating Charlotte on Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament.

The Knicks and Pistons were tied eight times in the third quarter before Marvin Bagley’s alley-oop gave Detroit an 87-85 advantage with 16 seconds left.

Brunson found DiVincenzo near the New York bench on consecutive possessions, and he hit back-to-back 3-pointers within a span of 45 seconds in the fourth quarter to put the Knicks ahead 109-103.

Cunningham made a free throw to cut the deficit to 111-106 after the replay center ruled a Knicks coach’s challenge unsuccessful. Randle made two straight baskets to extend New York’s lead to 115-106 with 1:13 remaining in the game.

Brunson scored 16 points in the opening period to help the Knicks take a 31-17. He shot 5 for 8 from the field, including 3 for 4 from long distance.

The Pistons fell behind by 16 points to start the second quarter but closed out the half with back-to-back 3-pointers from Cunningham to make it 54-all.

“They played really hard and I knew they wouldn’t go away. Then we were in for a dogfight,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

UP NEXT

Pistons: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

Knicks: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

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