AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — This could have been a statement game for the Knicks, a chance to show something to the team they are chasing for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Instead, the only statement the Knicks made Thursday night in a 111-105 loss to Detroit at the Palace of Auburn Hills is that they are a frustratingly inconsistent team that right now doesn’t have what it takes to win on a regular basis.

By various turns, the Knicks trailed by 27 points, led by two and then fell short at the end.

As strange and entertaining as it may have been, all that really mattered is that the Knicks lost their fourth straight game and their seventh in their last eight games.

“They jumped out to a lead, got the confidence and things just kept happening,” point guard Jose Calderon said. “It was hard to come back from that.”

The Knicks almost did, taking their only lead of the game at 97-95 on a layup by Robin Lopez with 2:14 left. But a quick three-pointer by Anthony Tolliver and two more three-pointers by Reggie Jackson restored order for the Pistons.

When asked what turned things around after halftime, Knicks coach Derek Fisher said, “They made the decision [to play harder]. You have to decide this means as much to you as anything else in life because this is what you’ve chosen to do.”

“We dug ourselves a big hole and felt embarrassed,” Carmelo Anthony said.

The Knicks fell behind 52-25 with three minutes left in the second quarter and still trailed by 24 early in the third. With Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis struggling for most of the game, it was Aaron Afflalo who helped bring the Knicks back, scoring 19 of his 24 points in the second half. Langston Galloway had a huge fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 17 points, including a three-pointer that tied the score.

“I don’t think we offered any resistance in the first half,” Afflalo said. “It’s tough to win when you have a half like that.”

Anthony, who finished with 19 points and shot 4-for-18, did not score in the fourth quarter. Porzingis scored only five points and shot 2-for-9. Robin Lopez was the only player who played consistently well for the Knicks, scoring 26 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.

Stanley Johnson had 22 points and nine rebounds and Jackson added 21 points for the Pistons. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The Pistons moved into a tie with Indiana for the seventh and eighth playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, 4 1⁄2 games ahead of the Knicks.

The Knicks began the day in an almost celebratory mood. They had their full roster on the trip for the first time since Cleanthony Early was shot in late December. Also, Calderon, who had missed five games with a groin injury, was back in the starting lineup.

The Knicks, who were 1-4 without Calderon, looked even worse with him back on the court in the first half.

The Knicks made only 27.9 percent of their shots in the half. Porzingis shot 1-for-6, but he wasn’t the only one to struggle. Anthony was 3-for-11 and Afflalo was 1-for-5. Calderon was 0-for-3.

Said Porzingis: “We weren’t playing our game and the shots weren’t falling. We fought our way back, but we can’t let what happened in the first half happen.”

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — This could have been a statement game for the Knicks, a chance to show something to the team they are chasing for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Instead, the only statement the Knicks made Thursday night in a 111-105 loss to Detroit at the Palace of Auburn Hills is that they are a frustratingly inconsistent team that right now doesn’t have what it takes to win on a regular basis.

By various turns, the Knicks trailed by 27 points, led the game by two and then fell short at the end. As strange and entertaining as it might have been, all that really mattered is the Knicks lost their fourth straight game and their seventh in their last eight games.

“They jumped out to a lead, got the confidence and things just kept happening,” point guard Jose Calderon said. “It was hard to come back from that.”

The Knicks almost did, taking their only lead of the game, 97-95, on a layup by Robin Lopez with 2:14 left. A quick three-pointer by Anthony Tolliver and two more three-pointers by Reggie Jackson took the win back for the Pistons.

Derek Fisher, when asked what turned things around after halftime, said, “They made the decision [to play harder]. You have to decide this means as much to you as anything else in life because this what you’ve chosen to do.”

Carmelo Anthony and Kritaps Porzingis struggled for most of the game. Instead it was Aaron Afflalo, who helped bring the Knicks back, scoring 19 of his 24 in the second half. Langston Galloway had a huge fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 17 points, including a three-pointer to tie it up.

“I don’t think we offered any resistance in the first half,” Afflalo said. “It’s tough to win when you have half like that.”

Anthony, who finished with 19 points and shot 4-for-18, did not score in the fourth quarter. Porzingis scored just five points and shot 2-for-9. Robin Lopez was the only player who played consistently well, scoring 26 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.

“We dug ourselves a big whole and felt embarrassed,” Anthony said

Jackson finished with 21 points, and Stanley Johnson added 22 and nine rebounds. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Detroit, which moved into a tie with Indiana for the seventh and eighth playoff spots in the Eastern Conference — 4 1⁄2 games ahead of the Knicks.

The Knicks began the day in an almost celebratory mood. They had their full roster on the trip for the first time since Cleanthony Early was shot in late December. Also, point guard Jose Calderon, who had missed five games with a groin injury, was back in the starting lineup.

The Knicks, who were 1-4 without Calderon, looked even worse with him back on the court in the first half of the game.

The Knicks made just 27.9 percent of their shots in the first half. Porzingis missed close shots he usually automatically makes, shooting just 1-for-6. He wasn’t the only one to struggle. Anthony was 3-for-11 and Afflalo was 1-for-5. Calderon was 0-for-3.

Said Porzingis: “We weren’t playing our game and the shots weren’t falling. We fought our way back, but we can’t let what happened in the first half happen.”