Maybe the fish and chips helped.
Carmelo Anthony had enjoyed a large plate of the local dish during the Knicks’ trip to London to play the Detroit Pistons on Thursday. His 15-day modified fast was over, and, from the game’s merciless start, his jump shot did not lack sustenance.
The Knicks, feeding off Anthony, made their first six shots, led, 16-2, early on and by as many as 20 points in the first half. The Pistons, seemed too small in the post, too slow out of it, and too young all around. But they were pesky, too.
They whittled the Knicks lead to 4 points by the third quarter, putting on a show for the fans at London’s O2 Arena. But then Anthony and the Knicks nourished the lead back to 20 and won, 102-87, behind Anthony’s fast start and the Knicks’s hard finish.
In the first quarter, Anthony was not at all sluggish, as he had been at times during his modified fast. On the Knicks’ second possession, Anthony fired a pass behind the Pistons’ defense to Tyson Chandler, open under the basket. Chandler would snag 10 rebounds by halftime. Anthony, who ended up with 26 points, also hit his first shot of the game, a 25-foot 3-pointer and had 11 points, on 4 of 6 shooting, by the time the first quarter ended.
As for Amar’e Stoudemire, he did not rebound as well as Chandler did — he finished with four — but he did score 17 points in just 20 minutes off the bench, his best showing since he returned on Jan. 1 from October knee surgery.
Amid the Pistons’ very obvious mediocrity, the Knicks generally had their way, with Andre Drummond the only Detroit player causing any real problems. The No. 9 pick in the 2012 draft, he had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench.
In that one-sided first quarter, Anthony also found Iman Shumpert in the right corner, where Shumpert made his first shot of the season. Shumpert had torn his anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus in last season’s playoffs and had spent the past seven months recovering from knee surgery.
Shumpert started the game and provided a noticeably youthful spark on the wing, finishing with eight points.
The Knicks did not miss their first shot until nearly four minutes into the game, when Anthony launched an ill-timed, deep 3-pointer, basically daring it to go in. It didn’t, but just about everything else worked out for New York on their little excursion across the ocean.