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Rapid Reaction: Rockets defeat Knicks 97-84

New York Knicks 84 FinalRecap | Box Score 97 Houston Rockets
Luis Scola, PF 23 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | +2Scola scored all of his points in the first half, going 6-8 (0-5 the rest of the way) and looking for his shot early despite three turnovers in the first 7 minutes. Hopefully, tonight’s success will boost his confidence in the next few weeks as the team’s schedule gets tougher.
Samuel Dalembert, C 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 7 PTS | +8The Bear(!) continues to maul Rockets’ opponents inside. Tonight, he pulled down 14 boards and blocked 4 shots in 22 minutes.
Kyle Lowry, PG 27 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 3 PTS | +3Over the last four games, Kyle Lowry has shot 8 for 42 from the floor, a miserable slump that saw Dragic running the offense for good portions of the game tonight. As Lowry increasing looked to pass all night, the rest of the team somehow didn’t seem to ready for the crisp passes he sent their way.
Courtney Lee, SG 30 MIN | 6-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +10With the starters struggling, Courtney Lee and the Rockets’ bench stepped up and firmly placed their heels on the Knicks’ throats. Lee’s 9 point 3rd quarter helped build Houston’s 14 point lead heading to the 4th quarter.
Goran Dragic, PG 27 MIN | 6-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 0 REB | 5 AST | 16 PTS | +23Dragic again pushed the ball and took any open (or not open) shot available. Hat’s off to Daryl Morey for another very useful pick-up.
Chase Budinger, SF 24 MIN | 7-12 FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 19 PTS | +23Can we ask McHale to bench Budinger every third game for the rest of the season? at this rate, Chase will soon retrieve his starting job from his Syracuse counterpart.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Well, that’s 9 out of the last 10. It’ a good thing the Rockets keep playing all these terrible teams (make no mistake, the Knicks have been a miserable thus far). With Martin hurt and Lowry missing, the bench won this game for Houston scoring 43 points on 22 shots through the first three quarters.
  2. How bad is the Knicks point guard situation? New York played Jeremy Lin for a good chunk of the second half. As much as I love Lin’s story and genuinely wish him success in the league, he’s not a starting (or really even a back-up) point guard for any team hoping to make the playoffs.
  3. Dalembert sitting early for fouls really exposed how much the Rockets depend on the huge Haitian. He only played 8 minutes in the first half, and his absence saw Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire combine for 24 points and the Knicks snag 9 offensive rebounds to the Rockets 2.

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