They came out of the gates strong and hung tough with the Knicks for most of the first half. Jabari Smith Jr. had good energy on both ends of the floor, and both KJ Martin and Kevin Porter Jr. were playing efficient offensively. Houston was down just 66-61 at the break.
But the tired legs couldn’t hang on in the second half when the Knicks, who were on a four-game break, pulled away, turning a formerly close game into a 22-point blow out.
The Rockets were led by Porter Jr., who finished with a line of 26 points and 4 assists on 8-for-14 shooting, while KJ Martin had 18 points and 6 rebounds on 7-for-11 from the field. Jabari Smith had a healthy line of 14 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists and continues to show some more playmaking chops as the season goes on. He was 6-for-13 shooting from the floor.
Other Rockets notables were Jalen Green, who had 19 points on just 4-for-11 from the field and 1-for-5 from deep, but he was also 10-for-12 from the free throw line. Alperen Sengin had 11 points, while Tari Eason went for 13 points and 8 boards in 28 minutes off of the bench, and Josh Christopher had 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
Houston’s defense continues to be a sieve, as the Knicks shot 58.1 percent from the floor along with 17-for-39 from deep, while Houston shot 48.3 percent from the fied and an ugly 7-for-28 from downtown.
The Knicks were led by Immanuel Quickly, who is apparently your newest Rocket killer, as he went off for 40 big ones on a ridiculous 14-for-18 from the field. Julius Randle also had 26 for New York.
The Rockets fall to 18-58 on the year and will return to action on Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets.