ROCKETS 97 KNICKS 84 | TOYOTA CENTER
How it happened:
After a battle in Miami on Friday night, the Knicks showed up in Houston with a solid first quarter outing, holding a one-point lead. Despite struggling from the floor, New York pounded the offensive glass and grabbed seven rebounds in the first period.
Heading into the locker room at halftime however, the Knicks found themselves trailing by seven points and Houston capitalized on that momentum going into the third quarter. From the 9:41 mark of the third period, the Rockets reeled off a 22-10 run that provided the necessary cushion to give Houston a 13-point victory.
A bright spot for the Knicks was the play of Amar’e Stoudemire, who worked from the perimeter and inside the paint. New York’s power forward finished at a team-high of 23 points. Tyson Chandler was active as usual with 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor and 4-for-5 at the charity stripe. The big man added 11 boards and two steals to his stat line on Saturday night.
With the absence of leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, Head Coach Mike D’Antoni adjusted the starting lineup once again. Toney Douglas was placed at point guard with Landry Fields at shooting guard, Bill Walker at small forward, and Stoudemire and Chandler completed the frontcourt lineup. The Knicks now find themselves at 7-13 on the season.
Stoudemire enjoyed his best outing since scoring 23 points against the Suns on January 18. He used a terrific move on Louis Scola in the second quarter, sweeping under Scola’s arms and quickly launching a thunderous one-handed dunk. In 35 minutes of action, Stoudemire was efficient, hitting 50 percent of his field goal attempts and only missing one shot from the free throw line. On the defensive side of the floor, the All-Star also snagged two steals.
News and Notes:
The training staff and Anthony continue to monitor his status after the small forward sat out games in Miami and Houston on Saturday. Baron Davis is also in a day-to-day situation as he works hard to make his first appearance of the season.
The Knicks jumped on a plane back to New York and wrapped-up the four-game road trip. With a day of rest on Sunday, the squad will return to the practice facility on Monday before entertaining the home crowd against the Pistons on Tuesday night.