Amar'e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Knicks Stumble In Houston For Fourth Straight Loss

The Knicks look to get back on track in Houston.

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Knicks Fall To Rockets, 104-89

On their first game of a Southwestern road trip, the Knicks just couldn't break out of their slump. They simply couldn't match the effort and superior execution of the Rockets. Scorers like Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola repeatedly sank tough shots over a Knick defense that, for all its extra practice hours, still couldn't close out or force turnovers. The Rockets earned plenty of open shots, but also scored from tight corners to keep their distance on the Knicks.

Amar'e Stoudemire, meanwhile, got straight-up shut down by Chuck Hayes, who harassed him into five turnovers while granting him just six free throws With Amar'e handcuffed, other Knicks needed to step up, but it just didn't happen. Raymond Felton continued to slump, shooting just 5-14. Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari both misfired from the perimeter and rimmed out manageable inside attempts. Whether they were irritated by the stingy Houston defense, or perhaps by the ever-changing Carmelo Anthony rumors, the two wings just looked out of sorts all evening.

The Knicks have now lost four straight with a back-to-back in San Antonio and Oklahoma City coming up next. They desperately need to buck recent trends if they wish to erase the shaky start to this road trip.

See Posting and Toasting for more Knicks coverage.

Final - 1.19.2011 1 2 3 4 Total
New York Knicks 27 23 21 18 89
Houston Rockets 36 24 22 22 104

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New York Knicks at Houston Rockets - Struggling Knicks Hit the Road

The Knicks have lost three straight, and now they'll have to get back on track away from Madison Square Garden. The first stop of their Southwestern trip takes them to Houston. The Rockets sit at just 19-23, but are11-9 at home and have won two games in a row.

New York has struggled to score and defend simultaneously of late. They defended but shot under 40% against the Kings, then scored plenty but gave up 129 points against the Suns. The Rockets are a solid offensive team that defends poorly, so this should be a chance for MIke D'Antoni's squad to get back on track. At least we hope so.

Tonight's game opens a four-night, three-game swing in which the Knicks will also face the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. New York will need to get back to their winning ways to avoid plummeting back under the .500 mark, where they haven't been since back in November.

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