New York, NY (Sports Network) – Luis Scola scored 24 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out five assists as Houston downed the struggling New York Knicks, 104-96, at Madison Square Garden.
Kevin Martin scored 28 points, grabbed five rebounds and added four assists for the Rockets, who have won two in a row and three out of four after opening the campaign with losses in their first five games.
Amare Stoudemire totaled 25 points and eight boards, and Wilson Chandler added 17 points and seven boards off the bench for the Knicks, who have dropped five straight.
The Knicks had a glimmer of hope after a Raymond Felton three-pointer put them ahead, 71-70, with 5:15 left in the third quarter. However, two Scola free throws and a Martin three-pointer were part of a 7-0 spurt that gave the Rockets the lead for good.
Houston took an 84-75 lead after three and pushed the margin to 95-77 on a Kyle Lowry layup with 6:15 to go in the game that forced Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni to call timeout.
The hosts got no closer than eight the rest of the way in falling to 1-4 at home.
Stoudemire made 6-of-8 from the floor for 12 points in the first quarter, as the Knicks shot 13-of-23 overall to forge a 27-26 lead.
Martin scored 10 of Houston’s 32 points in the second quarter as the visitors took a 58-52 lead at the half. The Rockets pushed their lead to as high as 11 before two Felton foul shots and three more from Danilo Gallinari in the final 35 seconds of the half trimmed the margin to six.
Martin made 9-of-11 from the free throw line for the Rockets, who were 26- for-36 at the charity stripe…Courtney Lee provided 12 points off the bench for Houston, which totaled 28 assists on 36 made baskets…Felton finished with 15 points and five assists, but shot just 6-of-16 from the floor. Rookie Landry Fields contributed 12 points and six boards in the loss. The Knicks had only 15 assists on 38 made shots…New York was 3-for-16 from three-point range…Ronny Turiaf missed a third straight game for the Knicks with a sprained left knee. New York leads the all-time series, 69-58.