(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Knicks were embarrassed the last time they
stepped on the Madison Square Garden hardwood and hope for better luck when
the Houston Rockets come to town Thursday night.
The Knicks have lost three in a row at home and suffered a 120-89 loss to the
San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. The Knicks had a few days to think about that one
and got back into the win column with Wednesday's 95-91 win at Atlanta.
Last year's leading scorer Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 25 points on
just 9-of-25 shooting and sank 3-of-6 3-pointers. Andrea Bargnani had arguably
his best game of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds for New York, which
improved to 3-4 on the season and had lost four of five games.
It helped that New York scored 23 points off 15 turnovers and used a 15-2 run
in the fourth quarter to get that winning feeling again. The Knicks led by as
many as 17 (47-30) at one point and later erased a 78-72 deficit thanks to
Anthony's clutch shooting.
"Oh, man, it was a great way to kind of get back on track," Anthony said. "Any
time you can win on the road, that's always a big win."
J.R. Smith added 12 points in his second outing back from a 5-game suspension
for a drug program violation and Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed a career-high 14
points off the bench.
New York turned the ball over just six times and has won eight of the last
nine meetings with the Hawks, including five in a row. Atlanta is scheduled to
visit MSG on Saturday.
Much like the Knicks, the Rockets were in action Wednesday night and dropped a
123-117 overtime decision against the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Rockets blew a seemingly comfortable lead in the fourth quarter and
allowed the 76ers to crawl back into the game. Houston outscored Philadelphia,
33-20, in the third quarter, but faltered at the end of regulation. The Sixers
erased a 100-91 deficit and put it away in OT, scoring 17 of the 28 points.
"We were trying to do too much," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. "We
couldn't maintain our (lead)."
Jeremy Lin was on fire from 3-point range, burying a Wells Fargo Center-best
nine 3-pointers (9-of-15), and finished with 34 points and 12 assists. Dwight
Howard had his typical double-double with 23 points and 15 rebounds. James
Harden did not play because of a sore foot and is questionable Thursday.
Harden leads the Rockets in scoring with 24.9 ppg.
Houston has lost three of four games since a 4-1 start and is 2-2 outside of
Space City this season.
The Rockets swept its two-game series with the Knicks last season and have won
seven straight, 15 of 16 and 20 of the past 25 meetings between the teams.
Houston's longest winning streak against the Knicks is eight games set from
Jan. 21, 2005 - Jan. 10, 2009.
New York has dropped three in a row and nine of 12 at home versus Houston.
The Sports Network