THE TICKET champions Knicks Gaming (3-8) began their final stretch of the regular season on a tough note with a 75-66 loss to Pistons GT (7-3) It was a constant uphill battle for the hometown heroes, as they trailed the Pistons from two minutes into the game onwards.
Pistons GT exploded off the starting line with 21 points in the first quarter, with Rux capping off this rare early offensive outburst with a buzzer-beating three. Their well-rounded scoring effort was complimented by the team’s trademark gritty defense that only allowed 12 points through six minutes.
Knicks Gaming dusted themselves off and mounted an early comeback in the second quarter thanks to iamadamthe1st and IdrisDaGoat6 taking the reins of the offense. A few deep shots and fast breaks gave the duo 25 points combined by the end of the first half, where they only trailed the Pistons 36-33.
Despite coming as close as a point away from the Pistons’ lead and even ending the game on a 12-4 run, the Knicks could not get ahead of the Detroit basketball machine. By the end of the third quarter, the Pistons reclaimed a double-digit lead and showed few signs of weakness in any part of their offense. Every Pistons player scored at least 11 points in their win, with the entire team shooting an impressive 30-of-47 from the field.
Pistons GT’s success can partially be explained by the Knicks’ failure to stop the Pistons’ stretch-four JosephTheTruth and pure sharpshooter guard Rux from cooking in the corner. Whenever the Knicks stacked the paint to stop the looming threat, Lets Get It Ramo – who put up a staggering 19 points and 16 rebounds in the game – or a slash towards the basket, the Pistons found either man open for the kick-out pass and the score.
On offense, YEYNotGaming and NateKahl did not connect from the field with a combined five missed shots from beyond the arc. Their scoring drought led the Knicks to over-rely on their other options, such as iamadamthe1st who dropped a game-high 28 points. Even though his efforts, as well as what IdrisDaGoat6 and GOOFY 757 put up during the game were impressive, the trio could not carry the Knicks out of the deep hole dug by the Pistons.
The Knicks will have a chance to cool off with a game against Bucks Gaming, who are a longshot for the playoffs, on July 27. Pistons GT will face their next opponent, Jazz Gaming, the next day in a rematch between the TICKET first-round opponents.