The Knicks lost a close one in Houston on Monday, in a game where Dwight Howard was out with a knee injury, and Carmelo Anthony was forced out with back spasms after playing 28 minutes.
James Harden was integral in the Rockets hanging on for the victory, scoring 12 fourth quarter points — six of which came from the free throw line. And those were the ones Amar’e Stoudemire had a problem with afterward.
In a clear slap at the officiating, Stoudemire said: “It was like an angel came down and started calling calls for him. Down the stretch, I don’t see how he was getting those foul calls.’’
Getting fouled on drives to the basket is a huge part of what makes Harden such a successful offensive player. He leads the league in free throw attempts with an average of 10 per contest, and knocks them down at a rate of 90 percent.
A closer look at Harden’s fourth quarter shows that of the three foul calls that sent him to the line, only the one committed by Stoudemire with 3:07 remaining appeared to be questionable. The two after that were both committed by Iman Shumpert, and while Harden is difficult to defend, there seemed to be enough contact on each play to warrant a whistle.
We’ll give Stoudemire credit for the creative way in which he expressed his opinion, even if the evidence shows that it wasn’t entirely accurate.