Knicks 15-27-35-26 103
Rockets 27-41-36-26 130
James Harden accounted for 28 points, six rebounds and 11 assists to lead the way as Houston beat the New York Knicks 130-103 Tuesday night. Houston’s three-point shooting was the difference, as they shot 20-for-42 from distance. Ryan Anderson, who accounted for seven of those makes, scored 17 points in the third quarter and finished with 26. Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 22 points, and Derrick Rose added 16 points to go along with five assists.
First Quarter: Rockets Jump Out to Big Lead
As one would expect in games such as this, the team with a preseason game under its belt got off to the better start. Houston led by 12 at the end of the first quarter, with New York shooting just 5-for-25 from the field. James Harden led all scorers with seven points, with Eric Gordon adding six points and Ryan Anderson five for the Rockets. Courtney Lee was New York’s high scorer with five points, but the Knicks couldn’t get much to fall either around the basket or on the perimeter.
Second Quarter: Things Get Even Worse For New York
After getting off to a poor start offensively the Knicks were able to get going somewhat in the second quarter, scoring 27 points. But they had no answers for Houston on the other end, as the Rockets scored 41 points to increase their advantage to 26 points at the intermission. Harden scored 12 points in the quarter, moving his total for the game up to 19 to go along with a game-high six assists. Nene, who performed well off the bench Sunday night, scored eight points in the half. The lone bright spot for New York in the first half was Kristaps Porzingis, who scored ten points and grabbed three rebounds.
Third Quarter: The Porzingis vs. Anderson Showdown
With the result no longer in doubt, forwards Kristaps Porzingis and Ryan Anderson took over in the third. Porzingis scored 12 points in the quarter for the Knicks, hitting all four of his three-point attempts, but that was not enough to get New York back into the game. And Anderson was the reason why, as he scored 17 points on an array of jump shots both inside and beyond the three-point line. James Harden added another nine points and five assists to his totals on the night, leaving him four rebounds shy of a triple-double at the end of the quarter.
Fourth Quarter: Knicks, Rockets Play Even
Both teams scored 26 points in the final quarter, with reserves deep on the bench and players looking to earn a roster spot getting the majority of the minutes. Mindaugas Kuzminskas scored seven points in six minutes for New York, with fellow rookie Kyle Wiltjer scoring nine in the fourth for the Rockets. Houston’s reserves weren’t successful in expanding the margin, but they didn’t lose any of the large advantage built up by the players who are locked into the rotation.