The New York Knicks turned in some strong defense during their 8-1 start, but that disappeared over the club's first set of consecutive losses.
The Knicks will look to regroup Sunday and try to remain perfect at Madison Square Garden as they meet an improving Detroit Pistons team.
New York (8-3) was limiting opponents to 42.9 percent shooting over its first nine games but that figure ballooned to 50.6 in its last two - a 114-111 loss at Dallas on Wednesday and a 131-103 defeat to Houston two nights later.
"These last two games haven't been us," forward Carmelo Anthony said. "We've been fighting, especially in Dallas (and) an uphill battle tonight. Giving up thirty-something points in three quarters, that's not our identity so we've got to get back to doing what we do best."
The Knicks surrendered at least 30 points in five straight quarters over the two contests, with Houston totaling 104 entering the fourth in Friday's blowout.
"I know throughout the course of the year or the season you have games like this, but it's not acceptable," coach Mike Woodson said. "We just weren't ready to play and that's on me."
Woodson lamented the fact he won't be able to run a practice for the Knicks due to Sunday's matinee start time.
New York is 4-0 at home, where it has won five straight over Detroit (3-10). The Knicks limited the Pistons to 39.6 percent shooting in winning all three matchups last season by an average of 24.0 points.
The Pistons could be more competitive this season as winners of three of five since their 0-8 start. Detroit is still seeking its first set of back-to-back victories after beating Toronto 91-90 at home on Friday.
Brandon Knight converted a layup with 7.8 seconds left and rookie Andre Drummond had his first career double-double in a season-high 24 minutes. Drummond finished with 13 points and 13 boards - eight offensive.
"Obviously it was tough to keep him off the offensive glass and had key blocked shots, but I think his energy kept the crowd in the game and that's what we needed," Tayshaun Prince said. "Now we find it differently. We know he's not going to get every offensive rebound like he was tonight, but if we can get the same energy it would help us out."
Greg Monroe added his seventh double-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Pistons, who had been 0-4 in games decided by four points or fewer.
"With such a young group, I liked the way we composed ourselves,' coach Lawrence Frank said. "We're happy with the poise our guys showed down the stretch."
Composure was a problem for New York on Friday. Anthony, who scored a season-high 37 points, was whistled for a technical as he attempted a season-low two free throws.
"It gets frustrating out there," Anthony said. "You do your best to try to get fouled, go to the hole, create something, it don't happen, that gets frustrating."
The Associated Press News Service
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