By Dave Hart

Pistons 111, Knicks 105 – The Pistons avoided a huge letdown on Thursday night, holding on to beat the New York Knicks.

LSJ Logo incertThe Pistons jumped out to a commanding 60-36 lead at halftime, but the Knicks answered by outscoring Detroit 35-18 during the third quarter to cut their deficit to seven points heading into the final stanza.

The Knicks managed to take a 97-95 lead with 2:21 left in regulation on a Robin Lopez layup, but the Pistons closed the game out on a 16-8 run to seal the win.

Stanley Johnson, who made his first career National Basketball Association start, led the Pistons with 22 points. Reggie Jackson added 21 points, while Andre Drummond chipped in with 17 points and 13 rebounds.Eye on the D

The Knicks were led by Lopez with a game-high 26 points, while former Piston Arron Afflalo added 24 points.

The Pistons are now 27-24 on the season, good for an eighth place tie in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They have a two-game lead over the Charlotte Hornets for the final playoff spot.

Detroit will travel to take on the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.­

Record: 27-24

Tied for 3rd Place in Central Division (9.5 games behind Cleveland)

Tied for 8th Place in Eastern Conference (9.5 games behind Cleveland)

2 games ahead of Charlotte for the last playoff spot

Magic # to clinch a playoff berth: 31

Magic # to clinch Central Division title: 43

Magic # to clinch Eastern Conference title: 43

Next Game: 02/06/2016 @ Indiana Pacers 7:00 p.m. @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Stats: Stanley Johnson 22 points, 9 rebounds 5 assists, Reggie Jackson 21 points 5 assists, Andre Drummond 17 points 13 rebounds, Marcus Morris 13 points, Ersan Ilyasova 12 points, Brandon Jennings.

Panthers 6, Red Wings 3 – The Atlantic Division leading Florida Panthers doubled up the Red Wings on Thursday night.

The Panthers were led by Vincent Trocheck with two goals and an assist, while Jaromir Jagr added a goal and two assists. Reilly Smith and Jussi Jokinen chipped in with two assists each.

Dylan Larkin paced the Red Wings with two goals, while Justin Abdelkader picked up two assists.

Detroit’s goaltender Jimmy Howard took the loss, stopping 27 of 32 shots.

The Red Wings are now 25-18-8 on the season, good for 58 points and fourth place in the Atlantic Division.

Detroit will look to snap its two-game losing streak at home against the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon.

Record: 25-18-8   58 pts

4th Place in Atlantic Division (9 pts behind Florida)

Tied 6th Place in Eastern Conference (18 pts behind Washington)

1 pt ahead of Pittsburgh for the last playoff spot

Magic # to clinch 25th straight playoff berth: 63 pts

Magic # to clinch Atlantic Division title: 72 pts

Magic # to clinch Eastern Conference: 85 pts

Next Game: 02/06/2016 vs. New York Islanders 2:00 p.m. @ Joe Louis Arena

Stats: Goals- Dylan Larkin 2 (17), Mike Green (3). Assists-Justin Abdelkader 2 (12), Tomas Tatar (16), Henrik Zetterberg (25). Goaltender- Jimmy Howard L (7-8-4) 27 saves on 32 shots.