Porzingis leads Knicks past Rockets for 4th straight win

13 Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead the New York Knicks to a 107-102 victory over the slumping Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

The Knicks (8-6) won their fourth straight overall. They also snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Rockets and a 10-game skid when playing in Houston.

The Knicks didn’t get their eighth win last season until Jan. 23, when they were 8-36.

James Harden had 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as the Rockets lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.

The Rockets threw a wide variety of defenders Porzingis’ way, utilizing Harden’s strength, Trevor Ariza‘s length or Terrence Jones‘ combination of those two attributes.

But the 7-foot-3 rookie found ways to score, mostly with his jump shot, helping the Knicks have just enough in the matchup of teams who were both playing for the second straight night.

With the game tied at 95 with less than three minutes remaining, Porzingis blocked Harden’s layup, and Carmelo Anthony made a 3-pointer in transition. Porzingis later made two free throws to give New York a 100-99 lead with 1:22 left.

Ariza attempted a game-tying 3 with 20 seconds remaining, but it rimmed out and the Knicks rebounded.

Anthony picked up his third foul early in the second quarter and his fourth foul early in the third and was forced to watch much of the game from the bench. He was limited to just 14 points in 25 minutes.

Houston rested Dwight Howard, but his absence was barely noticed given the strong play from second-year center Clint Capela, who had the best game of his young career with career highs in points (16) and rebounds (14). Still, Houston fell to 1-4 without Howard.

The Knicks used a 34-point second quarter to hold a 58-53 lead at halftime. Porzingis had 10 points in that quarter on 4-of-5 shooting, including two 3s.

New York was 12 of 25 on 3s in the game.

TIP-INS

Knicks: Langston Galloway, who leads the league in 3-point percentage, went 2 of 4 from beyond the arc. . Cleanthony Early (healthy scratch) was inactive for a sixth consecutive game. … Several fans in attendance wore New York Jets apparel and cheered for the Knicks. The Jets visit the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Rockets: Houston missed six of its first 12 free throws and finished the game 20 of 28. . Houston was without PG Patrick Beverley (ankle) for a fifth straight game, but he is on track to return to action Wednesday against Memphis. . Capela was one rebound shy of a double-double at halftime.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Visit Miami on Monday.

Rockets: Host Memphis on Wednesday.