Knicks F Michael Beasley stepped up for his injured team last night as he notched 30 points in the team's loss ot the Rockets, 117-102.
Knicks leading scorer, F Kristaps Porzingis, and C Enes Kanter were both on the bench with back problems Saturday night. In what was supposed to be a blowout because of this, Beasley didn't have that in mind. Instead, the Knicks hopped out to a 22-point lead mostly in part of the veteran journeyman.
Beasley tallied 17 points in the first quarter, and those points to go along with the team's lead, he says shows their heart and determination despite being down from the beginning.
"We fight, we're a gritty team," Beasley told The Post's Marc Berman. "We have to learn to put together two halves. I felt good. That good feeling was hindered a little bit with the loss."
The Rockets eventually pulled away as the Knicks couldn't sustain their lead. However, Beasley showed off the scoring ability he said he would give the Knicks all season long. Of his 30 points, 24 cames in the first half. He shot 14-for-23 while collecting eight rebounds as well.
But the second half saw troubles for not only Beasley, but the rest of the team. Beasley, himself, committed six turnovers in the second half, and only scored six points.
"We got to stay together," Beasley said. "We do a pretty bad job of it when things aren't going our way. The second half, we didn't do a good job of sharing the ball getting to their 3-point shooters, letting James Harden do whatever he want. We're a young team."
The Rockets finished the first quarter with only seven points as the Knicks ramped up their total to 29. But Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had a feeling the Rockets would bounce back in their home builiding considering the team loves the 3-ball.
"They were missing shots at the beginning and they shoot a lot of 3s," Hornacek said after the game. "So they probably weren't too concerned with that."
But the positive to pull out of this matchup was Beasley's performance, and how Hornacek can rely on him off the bench to provide a spark. No matter his minutes, Beasley will do whatever it takes to help his team too.
"I'm doing what the coach asks me to do -- making up for 45 points and 20 rebounds we didn't have today," he said. "If I play 36 minutes or don't play 36 games, I still got to be in a fox hole with the fellas. I'm used to it. It doesn't change my mentality."
"We know Mike can score on guys," Hornacek added. "He did a great job. Our guys threw him some nice passes inside and he's got great hands, if you've seen the size of his hands, you know he can catch a ball and finish down low as well as take guys 1 on 1. Offensively, we know he can give it to us. That was a big lift for us without KP out there."
Beasley's 30 points was a season high as he is currently averaging 7.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 14.1 minutes a game.