ROCKETS 131 KNICKS 103 | TOYOTA CENTER
How it happened:
In an uncharacteristic defensive performance, the Knicks were blitzed on Friday night in Houston 131-103. The Rockets came out firing on all cylinders with a season-high 72 first half points, fueled by a near perfect outing from Chandler Parsons and James Harden as they combined for 51 of their 64 points. Additionally, Houston’s furious attack included 28 first half points in the paint and 17 on the fast break.
Unfortunately, the Knicks could not take advantage of Carmelo Anthony’s offensive onslaught that included a blistering 24 points in 18 and a half minutes in the first half of action. The All-Star finished with a team-high 37 points in the defeat.
New York was forced ride the small-ball lineup due to foul trouble for Tyson Chandler and Anthony in the first half. Without Rasheed Wallace’s availability, Anthony had to spend some time at the center spot and was whistled for his fourth foul at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter. Chandler also dealt with some foul issues but avoided his fifth foul despite the need for his aggressive play in the paint.
In the final stanza, the Knicks could not get the necessary stops on the defensive end of the floor and dropped to 8-3 on the season while Houston improved to 6-7.
One bright spot for New York was the 3-point shooting as a team. The Knicks connected on 43.6 percent of their attempts from downtown with Felton, Steve Novak, and Anthony combining for 14 3-pointers. Felton scored 17 points and dished out eight assists and J.R. Smith added 12 off the pine.
“It was unacceptable, definitely unacceptable, definitely embarrassing to lose like that. But, the good thing is we feel like we are a good team, we’ll bounce back. There’s some things we have to get back to the drawing board on defensively and we’ll be fine.” -- Carmelo Anthony
Anthony’s masterful game will be overlooked due to the lopsided defeat on Friday night. While playing multiple positions, Anthony was incredibly efficient on his way to 37 points, hitting 14-of-24 from the field, a ridiculous 7-of-12 behind the arc in just 34 minutes of court time.
For the first time in the Mike Woodson era, New York suffered back-to-back losses in the regular season.
The Knicks completed the three-game road trip and will now head back to New York City following the game. On Sunday, the team will host Detroit in another matinee contest at 1 PM at Madison Square Garden.