The short-handed Knicks lost a streaky game to the Houston Rockets. Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter both missed the game with back issues. Despite their absences, the Knicks jumped out to a 29-7 lead in the first quarter before Houston took over the game. The Knicks made it somewhat interesting again late in the fourth but never got close enough to put a scare into Houston.
Beasley started in place of Kristaps Porzingis and did a good job of filling the void in the first half. Beasley scored 17 points in the first quarter leading the Knicks a 39-19 lead after one. He finished the game with 30 points on 14/23 shooting. He had a lackluster second half, scoring only 6 points in the last two quarters. You really never know what you're gonna get from Michael Beasley on a nightly basis and tonight he showed flashes of brilliance early before fading late.
Willy Hernangomez Defense
All year there has been talk that Willy Hernangomez has not been playing due to his poor defense. It seems like every time he gets on the court, he proves those stories true. After Kyle O'Quinn picked up his second foul in the first quarter, Hernangomez entered and the frustration ensued shortly thereafter. During the first quarter alone, Jeff Hornacek and Courtney Lee could be seen sternly addressing Willy after defensive breakdowns. The Rockets cause problems on the defensive end for just about everyone but Willy really stuck out tonight. Willy's offense wasn't particularly good either as he shot 2/8 from the field but he finished with 4 assists and at least looked like he could contribute at that end.
-Kyle O'Quinn started his second straight game for the injured Enes Kanter.
-The Rockets outscored the Knicks 37-13 in the 3rd quarter.
-Ron Baker played for the first time since the third game of the year, entering in the final minute.
-The Knicks bench was outscored by the Rockets bench 44-14.
-The Rockets committed only 7 turnovers all game.
The Knicks will return home to Madison Square Garden for a 3 game home stand. First up is the 12-8 Portland Trailblazers. It should be an interesting matchup but you have to believe the Knicks can beat anyone at MSG. The Knicks have had almost all of their success at home and they will need to continue that trend until they figure out how to win on the road.