AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson characterized Raymond Felton's first-half performance on Wednesday as ugly. Felton had a slightly different take on his five-turnover half.
Felton rebounded from his sloppiness and scored a game-high 26 points -- 19 in the second half -- as the Knicks overcame the absence of Carmelo Anthony and a season-high 21 turnovers to earn an 87-77 win over the Detroit Pistons at the Palace.
"He says ugly, I say terrible," said Felton, the Knicks' starting point guard. "I'm still kind of upset at myself for having seven turnovers (for the game). Being a point guard, scoring is something I can do, but it's not my number one thing. It's to take care of the ball and run the team. I had a lot of silly, silly turnovers tonight, but at the end of the day, we still put that 'W' in the column, so that's all that counts."
Anthony, the NBA's second-leading scorer, missed the game with stiffness and soreness in his right knee. The Knicks squandered an early 15-point lead but had a pair of 16-0 second-half runs to notch their fifth victory in the past six games.
The Knicks, who are 4-4 without Anthony this season, had a 48-36 rebounding advantage.
"Melo is a big piece to our ballclub," Woodson said. "We've had some games where he's missed and we've had success. That's the sign of a true team, to be able to step up and make plays regardless of who's in uniform."
Amar'e Stoudemire had 22 points and J.R. Smith supplied 20 for New York (37-21), which has won seven straight over Detroit, its longest streak against any team. The Pistons (23-40), who were led by Brandon Knight's 17 points, fell for the sixth time in seven games.
Detroit's leading scorer, center Greg Monroe, sat out because of a left ankle sprain suffered in practice Tuesday. Pistons coach Lawrence Frank missed the game due to a personal matter, and top assistant Brian Hill filled in.
"I have nothing negative to say," Hill said. "I thought we played with some difficult lineups out there tonight. I thought they gave us every ounce of energy that they could possibly give us."
The Knicks took command midway through the fourth quarter after giving away their 15-point, first-half advantage during the third quarter.
Led by Jonas Jerebko, the Pistons opened the second half on an 18-4 run to take a 56-48 lead. Jerebko made three consecutive jumpers during that stretch, including a 3-pointer.
Knight extended the lead to 65-55 with three straight 3-pointers. The lead didn't last long, as the Knicks scored the last 10 points of the quarter, including eight from Felton, to tie the game.
"He turned it on offensively," Knicks center Tyson Chandler said of Felton. "They were playing off him a little on pick-and-rolls, and he started to exploit it."
The first 16-0 outburst was completed by a Smith 3-pointer to make it 71-65. Detroit temporarily regained the lead, but New York put the game away with its second 16-0 run. The Knicks took lead for good on two Smith 3-pointers and another from Jason Kidd.
"That's kind of been the thing with New York," Knight said. "All the times that we've played them, they've relied on 3-pointers. It got them back in the game tonight, and it eventually pushed them over the hump."
The Knicks came into the game averaging 11.9 turnovers, the fewest per game in the league. Without Anthony to create and convert shots, they committed 11 in the first quarter and 15 by halftime. Somehow, New York led 44-38 at the break.
Taking advantage of Monroe's absence, Stoudemire delivered 17 first-half points off the bench and helped New York to a 28-15 rebounding advantage at the break. The Pistons gained some momentum by finishing the half on a 13-4 run.
NOTES: The Knicks swept the four-game series this season by an average of 15 points. New York hasn't lost a season series to Detroit since 2006-07. ... New York's previous high in turnovers was 18. ... Anthony, who has led the Knicks in scoring 43 times this season, is questionable to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. ... Monroe missed a game due to injury for the first time in his career. He had played in 208 consecutive games. In his absence, the Pistons used just their sixth different lineup this season. ... Pistons reserve forward Charlie Villanueva was also unavailable because of a sore left hamstring. Rookie center Andre Drummond has missed the past 13 games with a stress fracture in his fifth lumbar vertebra. ... Smith entered the game ranked third among NBA reserves in scoring at 16.1 points per game, behind only the Los Angeles Clippers' Jamal Crawford (17.0) and the New Orleans Hornets' Ryan Anderson (16.7). ... The Pistons are 9-26 against teams at or over .500. They play five of their next seven games against teams with winning records.