HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 04: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets in action during their game against the New York Knicks at the Toyota Center on October 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Playing without Enes Kanter and Kristaps Porzingis, the New York Knicks got blown out by the Houston Rockets on the road.

  • New York Knicks 102 (10-9)
  • Houston Rockets 117 (15-4)
  • NBA, Final, Box Score
  • Toyota Center, Houston, TX

For the second straight night, the New York Knicks jumped out to a huge first-quarter lead, only to give it all back—and then some.

With 4:36 remaining in the first quarter, the Knicks led the Rockets 29-7. Yes, James Harden and Chris Paul were playing for Houston. For a second, it looked like the Knicks might actually be able to beat the Rockets without their two best players.

But Houston would outscore the Knicks 110-73 the rest of the way—including 37-13 in the third quarter—to leave no doubt who the better team was.

James Harden led all scorers with 37 points, one of five Rockets to record double-digits. Michael Beasley led the Knicks with 30 points, 17 of which came in the first quarter. Kyle O’Quinn recorded his second double-double of the season, finishing with 20 points and 14 rebounds.

Key Stat

The Rockets shot 40.5 percent (17-for-42) from three, the second straight game that the Knicks have allowed the opposition to shoot at least 40 percent from behind the arc. Friday night, Atlanta hit 41.9 percent (13-for-32) of its shots from long range.

Key Player

Tim Hardaway Jr., who many expected to pick up the scoring load with Kanter and Porzingis sidelined, scored just 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting, including 0-for-2 from three. He did contribute with four rebounds, six assists and a steal.

Next Game

The Knicks return home on Monday to take on Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

I've been dunked on by Shaq and yelled at by Mickey Mantle. ESNY Editor In Chief. UMass alum. Former National Columnist w/Bleacher Report & former member of NY Knicks Basketball Ops department. Nephew of Rock & Roll Royalty.