Harden returns, leads Rockets past Knicks

Harden returns, leads Rockets past Knicks
November 14, 2013, 8:30 pm
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Jeremy Lin after defeating the Knicks

The Houston Rockets had to be thinking, this can't be happening again. Houston found themselves up just three after back-to-back turnovers, and the Knicks had the ball. It was the third time already this season they had been in that situation with time about to run out. For the first time, they decided to foul before the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony could get the shot off and after some major hand-wringing, the Rockets escaped with a 109-106 victory.

Naturally, the foul on Anthony preceded him fired up a 3-pointer that went in, but referee Scott Foster appeared to correct rule the foul occurred before the shot.

Anthony made both free throws, but so did James Harden on the other end, seconds later to secure the victory.

Harden led the Rockets with 34 points on a very efficient 9-of-17 shooting night and the Rockets made their free throws at a fairly incredible clip. They connected on 38-of-44 (86 percent), giving them season-highs in makes and percentage.

Jeremy Lin added 21 points in his second game back at Madison Square Garden since joining Houston in free agency last offseason.

Runs, runs, runs
In a game full of runs, it ended up in the Rockets favor. Late in the first quarter, the game was tied at 23, then Houston went on a 12-2 run to take a 10-point lead, with 9:47 left in the half.

Knicks answer late in the half with a 13-2 run to cut a 12-point deficit down to one at the half.

Houston's next run was 10-0 to turn a 61-59 deficit into a 69-61 lead with 5:24 left in the third quarter.

After the Knicks slowly came all the way back to tie the game at 91, the Rockets put an 11-2 run together, capped off by a James Harden 3-pointer. That run put the game out of reach.

Highlight of the night
With just under three minutes left in a strong second quarter for the Rockets, Parsons fund the lane open and rose up and crammed one down to put Houston up 51-39. It gave Parson 11 straight Rockets' points in just 2:08.

Next up
The Rockets return to Houston for games Saturday and Tuesday. They'll face the Denver Nuggets (3-4) on Saturday night. Houston lost all four games with the Nuggets last year and have lost seven in a row to the Nuggets overall. The Boston Celtics make their lone trip to Houston on Tuesday.