After leading most of the game, the Knicks came out flat in the fourth quarter, but got a full team effort and held on for a 125-123 win over the Rockets on Monday. > Box Score
Five things to know from Monday's game
1) Houston opened the game on a 9-1 run and it looked like the Knicks were well on their way to a similar performace to their 11-point loss to the Rockets at Toyota Center last Monday. But a Barrett three-pointer spearheaded a 9-0 Knicks run of their own, who ended the first quarter leading 36-31.
New York extended its lead to 10 at halftime (though they led by as many as 21), and it remained a 10-point lead after the third quarter when James Harden sank just his second three-pointer of the night at the buzzer. The Rockets quickly cut the lead to two just three minutes into the fourth quarter, but the Knicks clung on to the lead and refused to relinquish it, despite a ferocious dunk from Russell Westbrook to cut the Knicks' lead to two with less than two minutes to play. Westbrook had another chance to tie it at the buzzer, but his 17-footer rattled out and the Knicks held on for the win.
2) RJ Barrett led all Knicks with 27 points -- tying a career high -- and hit a clutch layup in traffic to extend the Knicks' lead to three with less than 10 seconds to play. He contributed across the scoresheet, adding five rebounds, four assists and a steal.
3) Julius Randle chipped in with a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. It's Randle's 27th double-double of the season.
4) Wayne Ellington was a sharpshooter off the bench for the Knicks, adding 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting (all three pointers). Ellington was one of four Knicks reserves to score in double figures on Monday, along with Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina and Bobby Portis. Robinson collected a double-double of his own with 12 points and 13rebounds, the seventh time he's acheived the feat this season. However, he finished without a blocked shot for just the eighth time.
5) Harden's 35 points led all scorers, while Westbrook had 24 points and Robert Covington and Danuel House Jr. each had 20 points of their own. The Knicks focused on locking down the interior, leaving the Rockets free will to fire away from distance. Houston shot 20-for-56 from three-point-range, but the Knicks were much more efficient from the field in the win.
In the midst of a five-game homestand, the Knicks play host to the Jazz Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.