Richard Hamilton scored 26 points, Rasheed Wallace added 23, and the Detroit Pistons beat the undermanned and overmatched New York Knicks 105-79 on Thursday for their sixth straight victory.
With Antonio Davis suspended for five games after going into the stands the night before in Chicago and leading scorer Stephon Marbury still injured, the Knicks trailed by as many as 30 points and matched their worst loss of the season. They have dropped four in a row in a span of five nights.
Davis was ejected from Wednesday's overtime loss in Chicago for entering the stands to confront a fan he thought was harassing his wife. He was suspended five games by the NBA on Thursday. With Davis and Marbury out, the Knicks were forced to start three rookies against what many consider the NBA's best starting five.
Tayshaun Prince scored 18 for the Pistons, who have won both meetings this season against Knicks coach Larry Brown. He led Detroit to NBA Finals appearances in both his seasons with the Pistons, including the 2004 title.
While improving the best start in franchise history to 32-5, the Pistons have won every game during their current winning streak by double digits.
Kings 118, Lakers 109, OT
At Sacramento, California, Mike Bibby scored 40 points, Kenny Thomas had six points in overtime to cap his first career triple-double, and Sacramento overcame Kobe Bryant's 51-point performance for an overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brad Miller scored 16 points and forced overtime on a 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight game in a thriller despite Bryant's best game ever against the Lakers' longtime rivals.
The NBA scoring leader got 21 points in the first quarter and 12 more in the final 5:43 of regulation, also making all 13 of his free throws to extend his franchise record to 48 straight.
The Kings fell behind 102-97 with 35 seconds left on Lamar Odom's 3-pointer -- but Sacramento scored seven quick points, tying it at 104 on Miller's 3-pointer from straightaway. Odom missed a long shot at the buzzer.
Odom fouled out in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, and Sacramento went up 111-104 on Bibby's sixth 3-pointer and consecutive baskets by Thomas, who had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. With 54 seconds left, Thomas set up a 3-pointer by rookie Francisco Garcia, whose tight defense against Bryant prevented a huge game from becoming historic.
Odom and Smush Parker berated official Dan Crawford after the final buzzer in Los Angeles' second loss in eight games.
Bibby scored 24 points in the second half, and the Kings got a boost from the return of injured starters Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Peja Stojakovic. Sacramento has won four of five.
Little by little, Virginia's players are understanding more and more of coach Dave Leitao's teachings, and it's starting to show.
"Good things are happening," guard J.R. Reynolds said.
Reynolds was one of those good things Thursday night, scoring 10 of his 16 points in the last 11 minutes when the surprising Cavaliers used a big run to go ahead for good and then held on to beat equally young No. 24 North Carolina 72-68.
"It's a learning process, and we're getting better each day," Reynolds said.
Guard Sean Singletary, whose first season came in the difficult last season under Pete Gillen, agreed and said things should only continue to get better.