NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (Ticker) -- The sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden came to welcome home Stephon Marbury. The visiting team didn't get the memo to provide a similar warm welcome.

NBA TV highlights from
56k | 300k

Rockets start on 23-2 run: Play
The Houston Rockets soared out of the gate en route to a 111-79 trouncing of Marbury and the New York Knicks, who, in their fourth straight setback, simply did not have it all evening in a nationally televised game.

Acquired Monday from Phoenix in an eight-player trade, Marbury was playing his first home game for his hometown team. But "Coney Island's Finest" was anything but, scoring just six points and committing four turnovers while being clearly outplayed by Rockets All-Star guard Steve Francis, who scored 27 points.

"I would never think it could happen this bad," said Marbury, who in 1995 led Lincoln High School to the city high school championship at the Garden.

The 19,763 in attendance created an electric atmosphere at the outset. But it took the Rockets just over half the opening period to turn the buzz to boos, beginning the game with a 23-2 run that brought the first of several "Fire Chaney" chants aimed at Knicks coach Don Chaney.

"I knew they were chanting, but I didn't know what," said Chaney. "What they were saying, I found out later. It was a good chant. Hey, we stunk."

Marbury, who used to sneak into the Garden as a kid, was not one bit surprised.

"That's how it goes in New York if you're losing," Marbury said. "You gotta win."

In the opening run, the Knicks had as many timeouts as points while committing three fouls and five turnovers. Meanwhile, Houston's frontcourt of Yao Ming, Kelvin Cato and Jim Jackson accounted for all the points until a dunk by Francis capped the burst at the 5:27 mark.

The Knicks trailed 31-14 after one period and never got closer than 11 points thereafter. They shot a season-low 33 percent (26-of-78) from the field and trailed by as many as 33 points in their worst loss of the season.

"Horrible, awful," said Chaney, who fell to 71-111 in two-plus seasons with the Knicks. "We played like strangers on both ends of the floor."

One night after matching a franchise-record low with 66 points, the Rockets erupted for a season high, shooting just under 50 percent (35-of-71), including 11-of-21 from the arc. Jackson scored 21 points, Yao and Maurice Taylor added 15 each and Cuttino Mobley had 14.

"We needed to come back and play well because of how we played (Wednesday) night," said Jackson, who scored eight points in the opening run. "We didn't worry about the crowd. We wanted to come out and play and kind of dominate."

"I know we're gonna have a defensive practice tomorrow," Marbury said.

On a night that had "unforgettable" written all over it going in, there were many forgettable moments for the Knicks. NBA free-throw percentage leader Allan Houston missed two in a row in the second period. Keith Van Horn followed with an airball on a 3-pointer. And after a slow start, Francis lit up Marbury for 14 points in the third quarter, including a jumper off a crossover dribble that had Marbury grasping for air.

Van Horn scored 17 points, leading the Knicks for the eighth straight game. He was tied for team scoring honors by reserve guard Moochie Norris, who was a member of the Rockets less than two weeks ago.

And it all took place in front of Jeff Van Gundy, who was replaced by Chaney when he abruptly left the Knicks just over two years ago. He was named coach of the Rockets this summer and also was making a return of sorts, receiving a rousing cheer in introductions.

"Ain't nobody watching the game because I came back," Van Gundy said.

By the fourth quarter, the crowd seemed less focused on watching and more focused on chanting -- and not for Marbury.

"That's New York," he said. "When you're losing, that's what's gonna happen."