Considering the controversies that emerged last week involving Spike Lee and “sell the team” chants directed at James Dolan, winning three out of five on this completed homestand at least represents a small dose of on-court progress.

The Knicks closed out a tumultuous week at home with no more discernible negative chants and a much-needed win, downing depleted Detroit, 96-84, Sunday night at the Garden.

Following what Bobby Portis dubbed “one of our best practices of the year” Saturday which focused on defensive intensity after ugly losses to Utah and Oklahoma City, the Knicks (20-44) had 10 steals, five blocked shots and held Detroit to 36.2 percent shooting.

“One thing we talked about is that any defensive team has to have a set of rules, and you play by those rules so you can play together,” interim coach Mike Miller said. “I thought we were pretty connected tonight. … I was pleased with the effort, staying with the defensive side and trusting that and allowing the defense to help create the offense.”

Point guard Elfrid Payton set the tone for the Knicks with 16 points and six assists, while Julius Randle registered a team-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. NBA field-goal percentage leader Mitchell Robinson also recorded a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) on 5-of-6 shooting.

Julius Randle
Julius RandleCorey Sipkin

Christian Wood netted 22 for the Pistons, who were without injured Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Luke Kennard and Brandon Knight. They fell to 3-17 since NBA rebounding leader Andre Drummond was traded to Cleveland on Feb. 6.

With the Big East Tournament taking over the Garden this week, the Knicks will play four of their next five games on the road beginning Tuesday in Washington.

“We got some good quality wins and I feel like we can learn from the losses, as well, against some veteran, quality teams,” Randle said. “Now it’s time to go on the road and try to get some more.”

Payton enjoyed another strong game, scoring 12 of his points in the first half to boost his numbers over his past six appearances to 13.2 points and 8.5 assists per game.

“He’s playing really well right now, obviously, and creating a lot of offense,” Miller said. “But he does a lot. He’s, as we say, the head of the snake of the defense, where he’s got to get out and pressure and create something. He’s the energy starter.”

Payton dropped in eight points while playing the entire opening quarter, but his best play was an alley-oop feed from mid-court to Robinson for a crowd-stirring reverse dunk to put the Knicks ahead amid an 11-0 closing run for a 27-22 lead through 12 minutes.

Wood scored 11 in the second quarter for Detroit, including a game-tying 3-pointer in the final minute, before Maurice Harkless sank two free throws with 3.0 seconds remaining for a 49-47 Knicks lead at intermission.

RJ Barrett missed four of five field-goal attempts and had just three points at the half, but the rookie scored nine in the third, including consecutive drives to the basket for a 69-61 lead late in the quarter.

Robinson was called for a technical foul for bumping Wood after the Detroit forward had come face-to-face with Randle following one whistle. The Pistons closed their deficit to one point, 72-71, when Jordan McRae sank three free throws with 40.0 seconds left in the period.

“Mitch I guess is known as being soft-spoken, but I always tell the world we know how he is around us,” Randle said of Robinson. “He came to my back and I told him I’ll pay his fine. He don’t have to worry about that.”

The Knicks nursed a one-point lead into the final quarter, but Portis converted a three-point play and Frank Ntilikina scored twice on drives to extend the lead to 84-75 with 7:24 remaining.