Rockets rout Knicks as Harden drops 30 points, 15 dimes | Inquirer Sports

Rockets rout Knicks as Harden drops 30 points, 15 dimes

/ 10:22 AM November 03, 2016

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) goes to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) goes to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK — James Harden had 30 points and 15 assists, and the Houston Rockets routed the New York Knicks 118-99 on Wednesday night.

The NBA’s leader coming into the day with 11.8 assists per game toyed with the Knicks defense, setting up teammates for lobs or open 3-pointers as the Rockets easily bounced back from a loss in Cleveland a night earlier.

Eric Gordon added 21 points for Houston, which has won seven straight at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks haven’t defeated the Rockets at home since Jan. 26, 2009, so long ago that their coach was current Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.

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Harden also grabbed six rebounds, a night after he had 41 points and 15 assists in the Rockets’ 128-120 loss in Cleveland.

Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points for the Knicks, who besides their poor defense also heard loud boos for their rebounding and turnovers in a dismal performance.

Both teams were playing for the second straight night, but only the Knicks appeared to have tired legs. Houston quickly extended a 33-25 lead after one quarter into double digits and was ahead 68-51 at halftime.

Gordon opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to make it a 20-point game and Harden closed it with another 3 that sent the Rockets to the fourth quarter with a 100-78 lead.

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TAGS: Houston Rockets, Knicks, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks

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