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Despite leading by double digits in the third quarter, the New York Knicks suffer their fourth straight loss against the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Houston Rockets 116 (6-10)
New York Knicks 111 (8-9)
Final Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Chip Murphy

If last year’s New York Knicks had announced that Carmelo Anthony was missing a game due to an unspecified illness most fans would have instantly written the game off as a loss. The effort of role players like Lance Thomas (starting in Anthony’s place), Kevin Seraphin, and Derrick Williams was incredible as the entire team stepped up in their star’s absence. Tonight’s overtime loss couldn’t have been more disappointing.

The Knicks held a 14 point lead with 8 minutes to go in the 4th quarter of tonight’s 116-111 loss to the Houston Rockets. As much credit as should be given to the Rockets for their play down the stretch, there should be just as much blame placed on the Knicks for their own.

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With the game on the line they became careless with the ball and took bad shots. Rockets ball hawking point guard Patrick Beverly took the game over with his relentless defensive play and after going scoreless in the first three quarter, sharpshooter Marcus Thornton scored 18 points in the 4th quarter and overtime.

A game where James Harden shoots poorly and Dwight Howard makes little impact seems like one that the Knicks should win. That wasn’t so. For the second straight meeting they were dominated by Clint Capela, as he set his career high in points, and that doesn’t just speak to coaching but to Robin Lopez who only saw 15 minutes of action tonight.

Signed to be Anthony’s No. 2, Arron Afflalo had not yet had his coming out party as a Knick. With his former Denver Nugget teammate sidelined, tonight was that night as he dropped 31 points on 13 of 19 shooting and did everything he could down the stretch to try and win the game for his new team.

That Kristaps Porzingis guys played well again too. He had another double, double, (20 points 13 rebounds) and played a career high 41 minutes. There was that unfortunate encounter with Dwight Howard, but hopefully that will help the rookie. If anything it should encourage him that a player like Dwight Howard put him in his cross hairs. Porzingis has not had many ‘Welcome to the NBA’ moments and when the whole league is telling you how great you are it is only natural to get a little full of yourself.

The Knicks look to stop their four game skip at home against Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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