by Jonah Ballow

How It Happened:
The Knicks faced a 14-point deficit after the first quarter but managed to trim the deficit to single digits prior to halftime.  New York exploded on an 11-2 run, outscored the road team 30-24 in the second quarter, and knocked down the lead to 59-51 at the break.  Houston answered in the third frame with a 32-point quarter where James Harden scored 10 of his game-high 36 points.  The Rockets managed to hold off the Knicks in the 117-95 preseason win.

Knick of the Night:
Tim Hardaway Jr. dropped 21 points in 27 minutes of court time.  New York’s shooting guard nailed 4-of-10 shots from downtown.

Michael Beasley scored 17, grabbed four boards, and dished out two assists.  Damyean Dotson enjoyed a nice evening with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor.

News and Notes:
Ron Baker made his preseason debut after missing first three games due to a sprained left ankle.  Kristaps Porzingis (sore right hip), Frank Ntilikina (contused right knee), Doug McDermott (sprained left fifth finger), Mindaugas Kuzminskas (sore left calf), and Luke Kornet (sore left hamstring) were ruled out for the contest on Monday night.  Beasley suffered a bruised left elbow in the third quarter and did not return.

Statistically Speaking:
New York won the battle in the paint 44-34 and in fastbreak points 13-4.

Next Up:
The Knicks will practice on Wednesday morning and complete the exhibition season with a contest against the Wizards at MSG on Friday night.