• Sun. May 26th, 2024

Knicks Extend Losing Streak To Four Games With Loss Sunday Night

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Sunday night the New York Knicks were matched up against the Houston Rockets for the second time in five games. Last Saturday the Knicks played brilliant on the road and beat Houston, 107-102. That game, Carmelo Anthony scored just 14 points in the Knicks win. Kristaps Porzingis had a breakout game, leading Knick scorers with 24 points and 14 rebounds.

Sunday, was a different story as Anthony had to sit out due to illness. This obviously did not bode well for New York’s chances, especially after the Knicks have had troubles offensively. In New York’s three games prior to Sunday night, the Knicks had not shot over 37% from the field. After their poor offensive output Friday night, it was going to be an uphill battle for New York playing without Anthony.

The Knicks without Anthony, dominated the Rockets for a good portion of the game Sunday night. New York outscored Houston in the first two quarters. The ball movement was really contagious, and the Knicks got quality shot opportunities. This equated to New York shooting a stellar 57% from the field against Houston. The Knicks as a team had 22 assists, which was huge in Anthony’s absence.

Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig ... The Knicks did a good job being physical with James Harden in the first half
Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig … The Knicks did a good job being physical with James Harden in the first half

The defense on James Harden was pretty good to start. Harden had a tough time getting going offensively, as he shot 3 for 11 in the first half. This was big towards New York building a 13 point lead going into halftime.

The second half was a different story. The Knicks seemed to stop playing to win the game, but rather played not to lose it. Harden started getting it going offensively and finished with 26 points. Marcus Thornton added 18 points off the bench in just 21 minutes. Dwight Howard had a highlight reel dunk on Porzingis that was very emphatic. That dunk was a turning point and swung all the momentum to Houston.

It was encouraging however to see different Knick players step up in Anthony’s absence. Five Knick players scored in double figures, including two players off the bench. Kevin Seraphin has been playing great basketball in limited action for the Knicks this season. Seraphin has only had six games this season with over 10 minutes played. In those six games, Seraphin has scored in double figures in four of those games. Sunday night Seraphin played a season high 32 minutes and did not disappoint with his production. Seraphin finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Credit: Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports ... Kevin Seraphin has been great in limited minutes this season for New York
Credit: Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports … Kevin Seraphin has been great in limited minutes this season for New York

Porzingis finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds for his eight double-double of the year. People have become accustomed to these great performances from Porzingis. Porzingis has become an integral part of this team, and he continues to produce night in and night out. Porzingis still had five fouls, but did a better job of staying on the floor to be able to help the Knicks. The rookie played 41 minutes, and should look to build on this moving forward.

Aaron Afflalo had arguably his best game as a Knick Sunday night. All night long, Afflalo abused Houston with his efficient offensive game. Whether he was shooting the mid range jumper or taking it strong to the basket, Afflalo had the hot hand. He led all scorers with 31 points on 13 of 19 shooting.

Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig ... Aaron Afflalo had arguably his best game as a Knick Sunday night
Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig … Aaron Afflalo had arguably his best game as a Knick Sunday night

With such great offensive performances, the Knicks were still unable to come away with a victory. Down the stretch Houston rallied by making shots, and taking advantage of Knick turnovers. New York had an alarming 23 turnovers, and Houston was able to score 24 points off those turnovers. When you spot a team 24 points and allow them to get to the free throw line 36 times (23-36), chances are you aren’t going to win. That is exactly what happened as the Knicks blew a 4th quarter double digit lead, and eventually would lose 116-111 in overtime.

It is a shame that the Knicks lost Sunday, because New York played a great game in Anthony’s absence. The role players stepped up and carried the offensive load, but gave the game away late down the stretch. It was poor decisions in crucial situations that led to New York’s demise. New York is still showing similar problems from last year. The Knicks are sending teams to the foul line way too much, and they aren’t taking care of the basketball. If they don’t fix these issues, they are not going to be the playoff bound team they are aspiring to be.

New York luckily will face the winless Philadelphia 76ers (0-18) Wednesday night. This will be a nice confidence boost game, and is an early must-win for New York. A loss to the winless 76ers could decimate the Knicks confidence, and extend the losing streak to five games.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

By Barry Holmes

Graduate of Millersville University, with a BS in Communications focused in Broadcast. Senior Writer & Social Media Manager for PureSportsNY.

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