Knicks ease past Pistons in London showdown

LONDON Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:04am IST

New York Knicks point guard Iman Shumpert (R) takes Detroit Pistons small forward Kyle Singler (25) along the baseline to the basket during their regulation NBA basketball game played at the O2 Arena in London, England January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

New York Knicks point guard Iman Shumpert (R) takes Detroit Pistons small forward Kyle Singler (25) along the baseline to the basket during their regulation NBA basketball game played at the O2 Arena in London, England January 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters) - Carmelo Anthony led the New York Knicks to a 102-87 victory over the Detroit Pistons in London on Thursday, just five months after he helped Team USA take basketball gold on the same stage at last year's Olympics.

Anthony, the Knicks' leading scorer and candidate for the league's Most Valuable Player award this season, recorded 26 points in the sold out London affair, the third regular season NBA game to be played at the city's O2 Arena.

"It felt good out there and the crowd was fantastic," he told reporters after the game, adding that the experience was reminiscent of the 2012 Olympic Men's Basketball final, which saw the United States top Spain at the same London venue.

Anthony scored 18 points in the opening two quarters of Thursday's contest to give the New York a 56-41 halftime lead in the designated home game for the Pistons.

"The Knicks got off to a great start and we were playing catch up from then on," Pistons guard Will Bynum said.

A mix of foul trouble and poor shooting by the Knicks in the third quarter allowed Detroit to claw back to within four points before New York pulled away for good.

Bynum scored 22 points, while team-mates Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond both notched 11 points and 10 rebounds each.

The Knicks (25-13) are ranked second in the NBA's Eastern Conference behind rivals and defending champions the Miami Heat, while Detroit (14-25) languish in 11th spot and are unlikely to make the playoffs.

With strong attendances for basketball at the 2012 London Olympics, the league is keen to build on a growing UK fan base.

The NBA played back-to-back regular season games in London in March 2011 featuring the Toronto Raptors and the New Jersey Nets, who have since relocated to Brooklyn.

Even though Thursday's contest was officially a home game for Detroit, vociferous crowd support for New York made the game feel like it was being played in Manhattan's Madison Square Garden.

"We had great, great fans and they received us very well. It felt like a home game for us," added New York's Amar'e Stoudemire, who had 17 points on the night. (Editing by John O'Brien)

Cricket Tragedy

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty Above 8,600

Nifty hits record high above 8,600; state-run lenders gain  Full Article 

Indian in Iraq

Indian in Iraq

India says no contact with 39 men held by Islamic State in Iraq.  Full Article 

Sahara Issue

Sahara Issue

Sahara looks to raise $650 million loan to fund bail.  Full Article 

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal Tragedy

Bhopal's toxic legacy lives on, 30 years after industrial disaster.  Full Article 

Essar Group

Essar Group

Exclusive - Essar's planned oil-for-steel deal tests Iran sanctions  Full Article 

Islamic Fund

Islamic Fund

India gets new Islamic equity fund but debt market still off-limits  Full Article 

Fiscal Deficit

Fiscal Deficit

April-October fiscal deficit nears 90 pct of full-year target  Full Article 

Oil Prices

Oil Prices

Oil hits new four-year low post OPEC as glut looms  Full Article 

Gold Imports

Gold Imports

India eases gold import rule in surprise move.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage