The Knicks remained winless in the preseason as they lost to the Houston Rockets 117-95 on Monday at Madison Square Garden. >> Read more
New York, which played without Kristaps Porzingis, Doug McDermott, Frank Ntilikina, Mindaugus Kuzminskas and Luke Kornet, also lost Michael Beasley for the fourth quarter due to a bruised left elbow.
Beasley scored 17 points in 24 minutes, while Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21. Ron Baker scored five points on 2-of-7 shooting in his return from a sprained left ankle.
James Harden led the Rockets with 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, while Clint Capela recorded 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Knicks couldn't stop Houston from 3-point range, as the Rockets made 22 of 46 3-pointers. Harden hit one of his six 3-pointers to cap a 10-0 Rockets run toward the end of the third quarter and give Houston a 91-68 lead.
New York trailed 35-31 at the end of the first quarter and 59-51 at halftime.
The Knicks cut the deficit back to 11 with a 14-5 run, but the Rockets countered by outscoring the Knicks 21-7 over a span of four and a half minutes.
Jake Brown | Twitter |
The Knicks looked a lot better today on both sides of the ball even though the scoreboard didn't exactly show it. (Frankly, they couldn't have looked any worse than last night.) They had a couple nice runs and some bad runs. The Rockets have an explosive offense. It's practically impossible to not give up 100 points to them. They were making some ridiculous shots from beyond the arc.
It was nice to see Baker on the court for the first time, although he could not score, and he needs to not pass up open 3s, considering that is how he scores. Baker is not a guy able to create his own shot. When Baker entered, the Knicks showed some life after a terrible first quarter that saw the Rockets take a 17-0 run in the second quarter. The Knicks followed with a 17-4 run, starting with Baker's dive of a loose ball and eventual pass to Enes Kanter for a dunk that tied the game, but then the Rockets ended the half on an 8-0 run to take the lead at halftime. The Knicks need that kind of hustle if they want to win ball games. They also need second-chance opportunities off misses, which they did not get much of tonight. Beasley played well offensively, but hurt his elbow on a hard fall. It shouldn't be too serious, though.
Head coach Jeff Hornacek didn't play Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and only played Nigel Hayes for the final three minutes tonight. They will almost certainly be starting their season in the G League. Meanwhile, rookie Damyean Dotson has looked pretty good so far in preseason and should definitely make the roster.
The Knicks have their final preseason test on Friday against the Wizards. The next game after that will count when they take on Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder in Oklahoma City to open the regular season. It's been difficult considering they haven't had their full roster healthy in any preseason game. Hornacek will look to get some answers on final roster spots and starting lineup on Friday.
The Knicks host the Washington Wizards on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in their preseason finale. New York opens the regular season on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road.