HOUSTON – Kevin Martin scored 21 points, Chuck Hayes grabbed 12 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat New York 104-89 on Wednesday night, handing the Knicks their fourth straight loss.
Kyle Lowry added 18 points, and Luis Scola and Chase Budinger scored 13 points apiece for the Rockets, who rode a hot shooting start to their sixth straight win over New York at the Toyota Center.
Amare Stoudemire scored 25, but also gave away five turnovers for the Knicks, who've lost 14 of their last 16 games against the Rockets overall.
The Knicks shot 42 percent (35 of 83), scored only 39 points after halftime and were held almost 19 points under their league-leading scoring average (107.5 per game).
The Rockets shot 22 percent from 3-point range over their previous four home games, but went 4 for 8 from beyond the arc in the first quarter to build a 36-27 lead. Martin missed all four of his tries, but Shane Battier, Lowry and Aaron Brooks hit their only attempts.
Houston shot 59 percent (13 for 22) in the opening quarter overall. Stoudemire scored 11 points in the quarter, then started the second period on the bench.
The Rockets' reserves stretched the lead to 14 after the Knicks missed seven of their first eight shots in the second quarter. But after the crisp start, Houston missed seven of its next eight 3-point attempts, and New York went on a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 45-39.
Houston's starters returned and built the lead to 60-50 by halftime. The Knicks went 4 for 13 from 3-point range in the first half.
The Rockets' 3-point shooting tapered off in the third quarter, but they preserved a healthy lead by attacking inside. Houston scored 14 points in the paint in the first eight minutes of the quarter and led by nine.
The Knicks missed two layups and shot two airballs in the third quarter and trailed 82-71.
Houston had a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter for the fifth time in its last six home games. But Toney Douglas opened the period with a drive, and Danilo Gallinari and Douglas hit consecutive 3s to quickly pull New York within five.
Budinger and Brooks scored on drives to stall New York's surge. Stoudemire coughed up back-to-back turnovers and Martin's 3-pointer from the corner — his first of the game in nine attempts — put Houston up 96-83 with 5:30 left.
Budinger missed a long 3-point try with three minutes left, but Jordan Hill grabbed the rebound over Stoudemire and Brooks drove for a layup with 2:32 left to put it away.
The Rockets finished with eight 3-pointers on a season-high 31 attempts.
Notes: Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni was surprised to hear that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov pulled out of his pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, but said he doesn't think it affects his team. "They do their business, we do our business," D'Antoni said. Anthony's reported preference is to play for the Knicks, but they've been unable to put together a package that rivaled the one the Nets offered Denver. "It doesn't matter if I'm concerned or not," D'Antoni said. "We do our business, we go. That's on one side, and basketball's on the other. We stick on the basketball side and we do everything we can to make us a winner every night and see what happens." ... The Rockets reached 60 points in a half for the 16th time this season. ... Stoudemire has scored at least 20 points in 26 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in franchise history.