The spiral continues: New York Knicks top Detroit Pistons by 14

Mar 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris (34) drives to the basket past New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Tobias Harris (34) drives to the basket past New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons didn’t score for over seven minutes to open the third quarter, which ultimately resulted in a 109-95 loss to the New York Knicks.

Seven minutes and eight seconds. That’s how much time it took for the Detroit Pistons (34-40) to score a point in the third quarter. That stretch of hopelessness spanned 13 Piston possessions (where they went 0-10 from the field and committed three turnovers), and it allowed the New York Knicks (28-46) to go on a 15-0 run and seize control for good. The Knicks would go on to win comfortably, 109-95.

That makes it four losses in a row for Detroit, who have dropped seven of their last eight. And this was against the Knicks no less, who came in losers of five straight and eight of their last nine. I think that tells you all you need to know about the current state of the Pistons. So does this:

Detroit didn’t have any answers for Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose, who were each efficient in route to 25 and 27 points, respectively, for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony added 21 points of his own, 17 of which came in the second quarter.

The Pistons at least showed up on offense in the first half, scoring 59 points in the first two quarters, but their seven-plus-minute dry spell in the third quarter would be their undoing. The 18 turnovers they committed, including 11 in the first half, didn’t help, either.

Worst yet, perhaps, is that Detroit fans can’t blame this one on Reggie Jackson. The Piston point guard was ruled out for “rest” purposes around 30 minutes before tip. Reggie Bullock (right foot sprain) joined him on the inactive list.

Now, for the grades:

B. Smith assumed a larger role in Jackson’s absence, playing his highest minute total since November 30th. He pushed the pace and penetrated effectively enough, but he struggled to check Derrick Rose on the defensive end. Still, I shudder to think about how many points the Pistons would have scored without him tonight.. PG. Detroit Pistons. ISH SMITH

D+. KCP was largely invisible in this game, ultimately finishing with 12 points on 12 shots. In addition to making to a few terrible passes that resulted in turnovers, I also noticed Caldwell-Pope jogging back on defense numerous times throughout the game, which is very unlike him. I upgraded him from a “D” to “D+” because his three ended the third-quarter scoring draught.. SG. Detroit Pistons. KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

Morris came out of the gate ready to shoot and got rewarded. He scored 10 points in the first quarter and 13 in the first half on 4-6 shooting. Unfortunately, not even his hot hand was spared by the Pistons’ second-half calamity. He did do a nice job of checking Carmelo, as most of his points came in the second quarter while Morris was on the bench.. SF. Detroit Pistons. MARCUS MORRIS. B-

D. Unsurprisingly, the 6’9″ Harris could do nothing to stop the 7’3″ Porzingis tonight. Harris also was rejected twice by Porzingis at the rim, and finished with just 12 points on 15 shots.. PF. Detroit Pistons. TOBIAS HARRIS

Drummond scored eight points in the game’s first four minutes, including three put backs on the offensive glass, so it appeared that he was en route to one of his monster games. But disaster struck in the second half and Drummond only got one shot off and failed to score in the final two quarters, finishing with 10 points and 15 rebounds.. C. Detroit Pistons. ANDRE DRUMMOND. B

Detroit Pistons. JON LEUER. C. Leuer played 25 minutes off the bench and, not afraid to body him up, provided the best defense on Porzingis by far. Unfortunately, Leuer continues to struggle with his jumper from distance, and his resulting hesitancy can be disadvantageous for the Pistons’ offense.. PF

C. Detroit Pistons. ARON BAYNES. A-. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Baynes came in, was always where he was supposed to be and provided his usual solid defense and rebounding. He finished with seven points and eight rebounds.

C-. As has been the case for much of Johnson’s season, the effort was there but the results were lacking. Carmelo made some tough shots right in Johnson’s face during his big second quarter, so it’s hard to fault him for that. Johnson also finished just 2-7 from the field, but all were good looks.. SF. Detroit Pistons. STANLEY JOHNSON

D-. Udrih returned to the rotation for his first meaningful action since Jackson’s return in early December. Things did not get off to a good start — he committed five turnovers in just under seven minutes of action in the first half. He redeemed himself in his six second-half minutes, compiling two points and three assists after halftime.. PG. Detroit Pistons. BENO UDRIH

D. Van Gundy didn’t have his team ready for Porzingis, or Rose in the second half, tonight. I also thought that he stuck with Udrih for a touch too long in the first half, although Smith was playing enough as is. SVG, with multiple timeouts and lineup changes, tried to jump start the Pistons out of their third-quarter funk, but there was simply nothing he could do.. Head Coach. Detroit Pistons. STAN VAN GUNDY

Next: Sputtering Pistons get what they deserve

The Detroit Pistons play at home against Miami tomorrow night, a team they trail by 1.5 games for the eighth playoff spot. Jackson (rest) will not play once again, and Van Gundy said it’s possible we will not see him again this season.