Preview: Houston At New York
When: 7:30 PM ET, Sunday, November 29, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
James Harden scored 50 points on Wednesday, and the Houston Rockets needed every one of those baskets just to survive at home against the worst team in the league. The Rockets will try to take whatever positives they can find from that performance on the road when they visit the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Houston snapped a three-game slide with the 116-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday despite committing 23 turnovers and yielding 16 3-pointers. Harden finished with 50 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and nine turnovers and stepped up late as the Rockets overcame a deficit in the fourth quarter to hand hand J.B. Bickerstaff his second win as head coach. The Knicks are going to have to change some things in order to keep up with Houston offensively after averaging 82.3 points during a three-game losing streak. Rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis scored in double figures in each of the three games but struggled to 15-of-42 from the floor.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (6-10): Bickerstaff is trying to coax better performances out of different lineups and started point guard Patrick Beverley and center Clint Capela on Friday. Capela collected 13 points and 10 rebounds while playing alongside Dwight Howard and Beverley scored five points in 32 minutes but blocked three shots. The lineup switching could be a continuing trend with Bickerstaff using his varied personnel to match up with other teams, like sending athletic power forward Terrence Jones or long-limbed wing Corey Brewer at Porzingis.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (8-9): Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony tied for the team lead with 11 points in a 97-78 home loss to the Miami Heat on Friday, marking the second time in three games the Heat held New York under 80 points. The Knicks had won four in a row before their current lull and could use more from starting guard Arron Afflalo, who is averaging 8.3 points over the last three games. New York’s last win came on Nov. 21 in Houston, where Porzingis collected 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks in a 107-102 triumph.
1. Harden managed 24 points and 10 assists in the Nov. 21 meeting, which snapped the Rockets’ 11-game winning streak in the series.
2. New York G Jose Calderon is 11-of-20 from 3-point range in the last six games.
3. Houston G Ty Lawson totaled four points in the last three games.
PREDICTION: Knicks 106, Rockets 105