Knicks 106, Pistons 100
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Charlie Ward almost equaled his career total with 15 points and Hubert Davis had 21 Friday night as the New York Knicks opened the season with a 106-100 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Ward, the former Heisman Trophy winner all but ignored by former Knicks coach Pat Riley, scored just 16 points his entire rookie season.
Davis, who got the start because Charles Oakley was serving a one-game suspension, played all 48 minutes.
Derek Harper added 20 points for the Knicks, who led all the way. Grant Hill, the co-rookie of the year last season, scored 29 points for the Pistons, who haven’t won a season-opening game since 1990.
Each team was playing under a new coach _ Don Nelson with the Knicks, who have won their last four openers, and Doug Collins with the Pistons.
Davis had 12 points at halftime as the Knicks opened a 62-49 lead. Detroit closed to 86-81 in the fourth quarter on a basket by Otis Thorpe. But Davis hit consecutive 3-pointers, Harper added another 3-pointer and Patrick Ewing, who finished with 19 points, made two free throws to push the Knicks to a 97-82 lead.
Detroit made only four 3-pointers while the Knicks had nine treys, five by Davis.
Joe Dumars and Lindsey Hunter each had 19 points for the Pistons, who shot 46 percent. The Knicks shot 55 percent.
Oakley, New York’s starting power forward, missed the game because of an exhibition altercation with Philadelphia’s Scott Williams.
Joe Lindsay and Lionel Yates, the subsitute referees working in place of striking regulars, called one technical foul _ on the Knicks’ John Starks in the third quarter.