HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 37 points and 10 assists as the Houston Rockets rallied from an early deficit to beat the New York Knicks 117-102 on Saturday night.
The Rockets erased New York's early 22-point lead by making 18 3-pointers and getting 44 points from their bench, led by 17 from Ryan Anderson.
The Knicks rode hot shooting to build a 29-7 lead midway through the first quarter. The shots eventually stopped falling, turnovers mounted, and the Rockets shot their way back into the game, mostly from long range.
The Knicks led 39-29 at the end of the first quarter, and Houston finally tied the game at 51 on a free throw by Chris Paul late in the second quarter. The Knicks led 61-58 at halftime.
Houston pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring New York 37-13, capped off by a 3-pointer from Anderson at the buzzer to put the Rockets up 95-74 entering the fourth.
New York starters Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter sat out the game because of back ailments. Porzingis (lower back tightness) played 36 minutes Friday night in Atlanta, scoring 28 points. He entered Saturday fourth in the NBA at 27.3 points per game.
In place of Porzingis and Kanter, Knicks reserves Michael Beasley and Kyle O'Quinn started. Beasley had a season-high 30 points, while O'Quinn had his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Houston has defeated New York in 24 of the past 26 meetings. The Rockets have won four straight and are 10-1 in November with home games against Brooklyn and Indiana remaining in the month.
The Knicks lost consecutive games for the first time since starting the season 0-3.
Knicks: Kanter missed his second straight game with back spasms that first occurred Friday. He's averaging 13.6 points and 10.2 rebounds. . The Knicks also were missing center Joakim Noah, who isn't traveling with the team because of an illness.
Rockets: Eric Gordon (calf) and Anderson (illness) returned after missing Houston's win over Denver on Wednesday. Gordon had eight points in 24 minutes. . Clint Capela had 12 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.
Knicks: Host Portland on Monday night.
Rockets: Host Brooklyn on Monday night.
© 2017 Associated Press