Knicks Collapse with HUGE Fourth Quarter Lead, Losing in Overtime


169. Final. 111. 27. 116

Sunday night the New York Knicks took on the Houston Rockets without their superstar player Carmelo Anthony, out due to sickness. Lance Thomas replaced Anthony for his first start of the season.

Three minutes into the game, New York would be without another starter as Robin Lopez got himself into early foul trouble. Kevin Seraphin admirably filled in for Lopez. Seraphin had a nice sequence of plays in which he hit a turnaround hook shot over Dwight Howard, and then blocked him on the other end to give the Knicks a 23-18 lead late in the opening period.

Arron Afflalo picked up the scoring slack without Anthony Sunday night, aggressively looking for his own shot without the team’s leading scorer. Afflalo scored ten of his season high 31 points in the first quarter.

In the second quarter the Knicks had a couple of fortunate plays, including one where Afflalo tried to pass the ball ahead but Thomas was not paying attention and the ball went off Jason Terry. Thomas then picked up the loose ball for a breakaway dunk to give New York a 45-36 lead with 3:27 remaining in the first half. KNICKS AND-ONE MIXTAPE!

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New York led 54-41 at halftime, holding Houston to 34.1% shooting from the field. More importantly the Knicks were doing a good job of contesting three-pointers, holding the Rockets to 2/12 three-point shooting at the half. The Rockets make the fourth most three-pointers per game in the league, at 9.4 a night per

Houston started the second half with a couple of put-back tip-ins, cutting the lead to single digit. A couple of minutes later James Harden threw a gorgeous alley-opp pass to Howard, who dunked it on Kristaps Porzingis and Lopez…

Harden took over the game for the Rockets in the third quarter, which was a good thing and a bad thing. Harden led an 11-5 Houston run that got the Rockets within one possession; 71-68. Harden scored six points and set up Terry for a wide open three-pointer in the run. But Harden was also the problem as the rest of the Rockets just stood and watched him go one on one, missing his last couple of attempts in the period. Harden finished the game with 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists.

New York led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter but the combination of a quick two-minute 12-0 run that got Houston within two points midway through the final period, and Marcus Thornton getting hot propelled the Rockets to overcome the huge deficit. With 32.2 seconds left in regulation, Thornton knocked down the game tying three-pointer as the Knicks were not able to collect the defensive rebound off a Harden miss.

The game went to overtime as Thomas was just forced to take a long two out of a timeout…with the Rockets smothering Afflalo as he tried to gain post possession. Overtime started off poorly… as Howard just dunked the ball on Porzingis’ head…

Then Thornton continued to light it up with a pull-up jumper and another three-pointer that gave Houston a 108-103 lead with 3:36 remaining in overtime. Thornton was clutch for the Rockets all night, scoring all of his 18 points in the final period and overtime.

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When all seemed lost and the Rockets gaining all the momentum, Afflalo showed his scoring capability. Afflalo scored on three straight possessions to tie the game up at 109 all with 2:17 remaining in overtime. Afflalo scored on consecutive post ups and then got free for a jumper with a nice pump-fake. Afflalo carried the offense without Anthony Sunday night, and should gain more of the scoring responsibility going forward to lessen the scoring burden off of Anthony.

Former-Knicks Trevor Ariza hit a dagger three-pointer with 1:12 remaining in overtime, and that was all she wrote as the Knicks desperately tried to match that three a couple of times before time expired. Houston went on to win 116-111, rallying from a 14 point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Ariza finished the game with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals. Clint Capela once again scored another season in points against the Knicks, finishing the game with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Seraphin notched a season high in points scored with Lopez in foul trouble all game, finishing the game with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks. Although Seraphin also contributed heavily to the biggest issue plaguing New York Sunday night, and that would be five turnovers. Seraphin coughed up the ball a couple of times, foolishly dribbling the ball up himself in transition instead of waiting for a guard…

Next: Does Kristaps Porzingis' Future Lie at Center?

The Knicks as a whole turned the ball over 21 times! The carelessness was the reason Houston was able to come back so quickly in the game, and extending the Knicks’ losing streak to four games.