(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets were able to escape the Big Apple with a hard-fought win and will play back-to-back games at home, starting with Saturday's showdown with the Denver Nuggets.
The Rockets handed the New York Knicks a 109-106 defeat Thursday night, one game after suffering an overtime loss at Philadelphia.
Thursday's ending at Madison Square Garden wasn't short of dramatics, as Rockets guard James Harden fouled Knicks star Carmelo Anthony behind the 3- point line and the shot went in. However, referee Scott Foster whistled no basket and Anthony made both free throws to make it 107-106. Harden then sealed the win with a pair from the stripe.
"James (Harden) played really well and overcame a huge performance by Melo and got us a win," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said.
Anthony poured in 45 points and Harden finished with 36. Chandler Parsons and former Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin netted 22 and 21 points, respectively, for the Rockets, who got seven points and 15 rebounds from Dwight Howard. The Rockets have won two of three games since losing three of four.
Houston will play Boston as well on this brief homestand.
The Nuggets have won three in a row and four of their last five to get to .500.
Their most recent victory came at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Denver outlasted Minnesota, 117-113, which was a season-high in points, but also matched the second-most points they allowed.
"We have been getting better in the fourth quarter on kind of locking down but we ended up giving up 32 points in the fourth quarter," said head coach Brian Shaw. "We're just taking a step backwards based on what we had been doing lately but I thought overall we made the plays we needed to make, and that was the difference in the game."
Eleven Nuggets played at least 12 minutes and seven Denver players scored in double figures.
Wilson Chandler led the way with 19 points, followed by 16 points and 10 rebounds from Kenneth Faried. Ty Lawson had 14 points and 10 assists, while J.J. Hickson also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards.
Andre Miller (13), Timofey Mozgov (10) and Evan Fournier (10) also scored in double digits.
The Nuggets visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on this brief road trip.
The Nuggets won all four meetings with the Rockets last season and have ripped off seven straight victories in this series. Denver has won four straight at Houston.