Nov 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) controls the ball in front of Houston Rockets power forward Terrence Jones (6) during the first quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Rockets 109 New York Knicks 106
For the past 4 games, the Houston Rockets have had forgetful 4th quarter performances. Thursday night was the opposite as the Rockets were able to close out a win, but not before the Knicks made some late game drama.
With 4 minutes remaining, the Rockets held on to a 102-93 lead before the Hack-A-Howard was implemented, which was successful. Coach Kevin McHale took Dwight Howard out of the game, and the Knicks were able to make a late game run. Carmelo Anthony took advantage of the Rockets’ small lineup, drawing fouls in the low post, while J.R. Smith drained a 3 with 2 and a half minutes left to bring the Knicks within 102-100.
As the offense stalled late for the Rockets, Anthony helped close to lead to 1 point with 5 seconds left. James Harden then calmly made 2 free throws that put the Rockets up 109-106, and Smith missed on a heave from half-court.
With Dwight Howard held to just 7 points on 5 of 8 shooting, the rest of the crew stepped up. James Harden, playing with a sore foot, led the way with 36 points and 9 rebounds, Chandler Parsons added 22 points, while Jeremy Lin scored 21 points off the bench.
The Rockets jumped out to a 14 point lead in the 2nd quarter, only to see the Knicks go on a 13-2 run in the final minutes of the first half. Led by the outside shooting and surprising defense of Andrea Bargnani, and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks cut a 51-39 deficit to 53-52 by halftime.
Anthony finished with 45 points and 10 rebounds, while Bargnani added 24 points, including shooting 3 of 3 from behind the 3-point line.
The recent struggles from blowing leads came from turnovers and missed free throws in the 4th quarter. Thursday night was an exemption as the Rockets shot 86 percent(38 for 44) from the line, and recorded just 14 turnovers for the game.