HOUSTON – Chase Budinger scored 19 points, Samuel Dalembert grabbed 14 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the New York Knicks 97-84 on Saturday night for their ninth win in 10 games.
Jordan Hill had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Courtney Lee scored 14 points in place of the injured Kevin Martin, and the Rockets shot 49 percent (38 of 77) to improve to 9-2 at home this season.
Houston blew open a close game in the third quarter as the Knicks' offense sputtered again without Carmelo Anthony. New York failed to reach 90 points for the fifth time in seven games.
Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points and Tyson Chandler added 14 for the Knicks. New York went 5 for 26 from 3-point range a night after shooting an NBA season-high 43 times from beyond the arc in a loss to Miami.
They were heaving up 3s from the start Saturday night, but missed their first three attempts. They led early, though, because the Rockets gave away five turnovers in the first nine minutes. Houston point guard Kyle Lowry started 0 for 4 from the field.
The Knicks went 1 for 9 from 3-point range in the opening quarter and still led 21-20. Goran Dragic started the second quarter with Houston's first 3-pointer to put the Rockets in front. Dragic scored 16 points in the game.
Budinger, who scored a season-high 21 in Friday's rout of Washington, had 11 points in the second quarter against the Knicks, helping Houston build a 53-46 lead at the break.
Stoudemire scored 14 first-half points, but New York was 3 for 16 from 3-point range.
Dalembert's free throw with 6:47 left in the third quarter put Houston ahead 62-52, marking its 13th consecutive game with a double-digit lead.
The Knicks pulled to within six before Houston finished the third quarter with a 12-2 burst fueled by four New York turnovers. Lee sank a 3-pointer, then hit a free throw after a technical foul on Tyson Chandler and the Rockets led 76-60 going into the fourth.
New York coach Mike D'Antoni had Stoudemire on the floor with mostly backups early in the final quarter, and the Rockets safely preserved their lead with a lineup of mostly backups of their own.
Jeremy Lin, cut by Houston on Christmas Day, had a layup blocked by the 6-foot-3 Dragic, and the resulting fastbreak by the Rockets ended with Hill's short jumper and an 83-62 lead for Houston.
Stoudemire was out for the final four minutes, falling two rebounds short of his fourth double-double in five games.
Notes: The Rockets have won 20 straight games when holding their opponents below 90 points. ... The Rockets continued their longest run of games with a double-digit lead since 2008, when they held double-digit advantages in 20 straight games during a 22-game winning streak. ... Dalembert blocked four shots. He has at least two blocks in six straight games, Houston's longest streak since Yao Ming had multiple blocks in eight consecutive games in March 2009. ... The Knicks are 1-7 against the West. ... New York fell shy of 90 points for the third straight game.