Alec Burks = Superman. NY 104 Detroit 102

Alec Burks hit a Huge 3 with 45 seconds left to give NY a 104-100 lead and then stripped Cade Cunningham of the ball as he was about to take a jump shot with 3 seconds left that would have tied the game — leading NY to its 3rd straight win on a Sunday afternoon at the Garden.

The Knicks had jumped out to a huge 1st-half lead in this game, leading by 21 points in the 2nd quarter before Detroit gradually pulled back into it in the 3rd and 4th.

1. Burks’ Heroics

As we’ve written often here, when Burks is on his game, he plays like a poor man’s Kobe Bryant: his drives to the basket have Kobe movement written all over them; his jumper, his D. All Kobe-esq in body movement and effectiveness.

In this game he made the HUGE final defensive play to seal the win, stripping Cunningham of the ball with 3 seconds left.

Forty seconds earlier he hit the HUGE 3 to give the Knicks the 104-100 lead.

Burks played well all afternoon — finishing with 18 points on 4-6 shooting (3-5 from 3).

2. Detroit Youth vs Knicks Youth

Before the game, Marc Berman of the NY Post tweeted: “Detroit was Eastern team that didn’t pass Knicks by. But Pistons have slew of 1st-round pieces to feel good about – Cade Cunningham (1), Saddiq Bey (17), Isaiah Stewart (16), Killian Hayes (7), Bagley (2). And young vet Grant. They’ll be odds-on for top-4. Knicks in Motown today.”

We replied that: “Knicks fans looking forward to RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin, Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley, Quentin Grimes, Jericho Sims, and maybe Miles McBride. Not sure I’d be looking forward to Detroit’s young stash more than Knicks’. But it is a good debate to have. Barrett — 19.8 ppg .410 from floor .347 from 3 – has been called ‘volume’ shooter lately Saddiq Bey — 16.3 ppg .396 from floor .347 from 3 – ‘volume’ shooter too? Cunningham 17.1 ppg, .413 from floor .319 from 3 – volume shooter Toppin..Quick..”

2. Bagley Drives the Pistons

In this game, Cade Cunningham — the 6’6 point guard and #1 pick in the 2021 draft — had 18 points on 8-17 shooting (1-4 from 3) with 7 assists. Besides having his potential game-tying jumper blocked by Burks.

Saddiq Bey had 14 points on 4-10 shooting. But it was Marvin Bagley III who carried the Pistons — 27 points on 11-17 shooting, with 7 rebounds.

Killian Hayes had 6 points off the bench in 25 minutes.

Bagley was the #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft by Sacramento and has been considered a bust until his recent trade to the Pistons — part of a 4-team trade in February wherein Detroit gave up Josh Jackson, Trey Lyles, and two 2nd-round picks. So far it looks like a steal for Detroit as Bagley is averaging over 14 ppg for Detroit after 17 games with them.

3. Barrett, Quickley, & Toppin Lead Knicks Young Guns

The Knicks young guns of RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, and Mitch Robinson shone brighter than Detroit’s young guns in this game.

Barrett had 21 points on 7-18 shooting, with 9 rebounds, and hit big buckets down the stretch.

Another angle on that shot:

Quickley had another great game as the point guard off the bench with 18 points (4-9 from 3) and 6 assists.

Obi Toppin played 17 electrifying minutes — scoring 10 points on 4-6 shooting.

Mitchell Robinson only had 4 points but 9 rebounds and 5 blocks in 29 minutes.

And old man Julius Randle — now 27 years old — played well: 20 points on 7-18 shooting (2-5 from 3), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

The Boxscore

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