by Jonah Ballow

7:30 PM EST | Madison Square Garden
TV:  MSG Network

1.  The Knicks completed their third preseason game last night in Brooklyn.  Willy Hernangomez started at the center spot and posted solid numbers with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor in 22 minutes.  The big man added 12 boards in his best outing of the exhibition season.  Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 on 6-of-9 shooting next to Jarrett Jack and Courtney Lee in the starting unit.

2.  Michael Beasley, Enes Kanter, Frank Ntilikina, Ron Baker, Luke Kornet, and Mindaugas Kuzminskas did not play in Sunday night’s game.  Doug McDermott suffered a sprained left fifth finger but was available to return (X-rays were negative).  Kristaps Porzingis played 15 minutes before leaving the contest due to a sore right hip.

3.  Last night in Brooklyn, head coach Jeff Hornacek expressed optimism for Baker’s return to the lineup against Houston.  Baker has been dealing with an ankle injury and tonight he is expected to suit up for the first time this preseason.

4.  The Rockets finished with a 55-27 record last season before falling in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.  This offseason, Houston was aggressive by acquiring Chris Paul, P.J. Tucket, and Luc Mbah a Moute in an effort to challenge the mighty Warriors.  Paul and James Harden now form one of the most explosive and talented backcourts in the league.  Last year, Houston averaged 115.3 points per game and registered a +5.7 differential.   

5.  The Knicks enter tonight’s game on the second of a back-to-back.  The Rockets last preseason game was on October 5, where they dominated the Shanghai Sharks 144-82.  Houston also captured a win in its first preseason outing with a 104-97 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.