Knicks Briefly Make Do Without Porzingis, Then Fall Hard Against Houston

Knicks Briefly Make Do Without Porzingis, Then Fall Hard Against Houston


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Knicks guard Jarrett Jack, bottom, fighting for a loose ball with Houston’s Trevor Ariza on Saturday. Jack collected 10 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds in the Knicks’ loss.

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Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

HOUSTON — James Harden had 37 points and 10 assists as the Houston Rockets rallied from an early deficit to beat the Knicks, 117-102, on Saturday night.

The Rockets erased the Knicks’ early 22-point lead by making 18 3-pointers and getting 44 points from their bench, led by 17 from Ryan Anderson.

Knicks starters Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter sat out the game because of back ailments. Porzingis (lower back tightness) played 36 minutes Friday night in Atlanta, scoring 28 points. He entered Saturday fourth in the N.B.A. in scoring at 27.3 points per game.

In place of Porzingis and Kanter, the reserves Michael Beasley and Kyle O’Quinn started. Beasley had a season-high 30 points, while O’Quinn had his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 15 rebounds.

The Knicks rode hot shooting to a 29-7 lead midway through the first quarter. The shots eventually stopped falling, turnovers mounted, and the Rockets shot their way back into the game, mostly from long range.

The Knicks led, 39-29, at the end of the first quarter, and Houston finally tied the game at 51 on a free throw by Chris Paul late in the second quarter. The Knicks led, 61-58, at halftime.

Houston pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring New York by 37-13.

Houston has defeated the Knicks in 24 of the past 26 meetings. The Rockets have won four straight over all and are 10-1 in November with home games against Brooklyn and Indiana remaining in the month.

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