Parsons leads Rockets to win over Knicks
HOUSTON — James Harden scored 33 points, and Chandler Parsons had a career-high 31 to help the Houston Rockets coast to a 131-103 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Jeremy Lin added 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Houston in the first game against his former team.
The Rockets entered the third quarter up by 12, and scored 10 straight points later in the quarter to extend their lead to 21.
Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 37 for New York, which dropped consecutive games for the first time this season.
Lin went undrafted out of Harvard and became a sensation with the Knicks last season with a remarkable stretch in February where he scored at least 20 points in nine of 10 games. A high point of that span came when he had 38 points and seven assists in a 92-85 victory over the Lakers on Feb. 10.
The Rockets released Lin before he signed with New York. Lin became a Rocket again when the Knicks didn’t match Houston’s three-year, $25 million offer.
Lin said before the game that his time with the Knicks was: “The most fun I’ve ever had playing basketball, in that little stretch. I’ll always remember that.”
But he said he’s “at peace” with the Knicks not matching Houston’s offer, and he’s glad to be in Houston.
He’ll get another shot at his former team when the Rockets travel to Madison Square Garden on Dec. 17.
But Parsons was the star Friday, scoring 26 points in the first half to surpass his previous career high of 25. The second-year player went 8 for 8 to pile up 18 points in the first quarter. He finished 13 of 17 with four 3-pointers.
Harden, who had nine assists, was a career-best 16 of 16 at the free throw line to help Houston build its big lead.
Houston was up by 10 in the third quarter before going on a 10-0 run, capped by a 3 from Lin, to stretch the lead to 94-73 with about five minutes left in the third quarter. Anthony got a technical, and Tyson Chandler received a flagrant foul on a play where he and Omer Asik were jostling for a rebound in that span.
Asik made Houston’s next seven points before Toney Douglas sunk a 3-pointer at the buzzer to leave the Rockets up 104-80 entering the fourth quarter. The Knicks made just two field goals and had four turnovers in the last eight minutes of that quarter.
The Knicks used an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 51-50 about 5 1/2 minutes before halftime. A 16-3 spurt by the Rockets after that, powered by seven points from Harden, put Houston back on top 67-53 with less than 2minutes left in the second quarter.
Parsons sunk a 3-pointer about a minute later to push Houston’s lead to 72-57 at halftime.
The Rockets built an 11-point lead early behind seven points by Parsons. Anthony quickly closed the gap to 20-15 with consecutive 3-pointers after that.
New York made the last six points of the first quarter to get to 35-32 entering the second quarter.
Morris was shaken up with about a minute left in the first quarter fighting for a rebound with Anthony. He fell to the court where he remained for a couple of minutes. He was eventually helped to his feet and taken to the locker room. He returned to the bench with about 11 minutes left in the second quarter and returned to the game about 6 minutes before halftime.
Anthony also had 18 points after one quarter.
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