Sunday night’s win wasn’t an easy one for the Rockets. After carrying over into extra time, the Rockets defeated the New York Knicks, 116-111. Last year, the Rockets advanced as far as the Western Conference finals. This made the Rockets hopeful at the beginning of this season. However, this year’s record isn’t reflective of a team on their way to the championship. Now that they have one more victory, maybe their season will turnaround.
The Knicks kept the game under control for the majority of the night, even as they played without Carmelo Anthony, who was ill on Sunday night. The Knicks played hard, but the Rockets pulled ahead in the end. Starting point guard, Patrick Beverley pushed his teammates to play their best. Beverley rallied all the guys, including Harden, and Ty Lawson, who was on the bench. He says, “The guys know me who have been around here for years. Biggest thing for me is winning basketball games, and I hate losing. Everybody knows that if my approach one day is cussing you out, then that’s what it is. I’m doing that in the position to win basketball games.” Shooting guard, James Harden, played his part. After scoring 26 points within 45 minutes, Harden needed an IV to recover. Harden had a great night, and as interim coach pointed out, “We got contributions from everybody. Guys who might not have been playing extremely well or a lot came in and made plays, and it was a bunch of small plays…and those plays make a difference.”
The game changed in the fourth quarter, after the Knicks’ Marcus Thorton scored a three-pointer. Thorton’s move tied the score 101-101 with 32.2 seconds left on the clock. In overtime, Howard landed a two-handed dunk over Kristaps Porzingiz, a Knicks rookie. Later Porzingis came back with a shot over Trevor Ariza, and tied the game at 103. The Rockets were jumping on the bench yelling as the close game continued. The Knicks’ Langston Galloway landed a jump shot, and made the score 111-111. After a pass from Harden, Ariza was open to land a three and bring the Rockets ahead, 114-111 with 1:12 left.
Interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff, is hoping this win will shift the Rocket’s trajectory. He says, “Things are turning in the right direction for us, but with us, we understand it is everyday. We can’t afford right now with the position we’re in to take any steps backwards. We can’t get too comfortable, too confident because we won a game. This game is over with now, and we fly to Detroit and we got to prepare ourselves to get a win in Detroit.”
The Rockets lost to the Pistons in Michigan, but maybe they’ll score another win over the New Orleans’ Pelicans this Wednesday night. For more Houston Rockets coverage, be sure to check out ESPN.