Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Brooks made two free throws with 17 second remaining to lift the Houston Rockets to a 102-100 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
James Harden poured in 37 points to lead Houston but Brooks scored the last two. His foul shots came after Knicks guard J.R. Smith missed a 3-pointer he took with the score tied and despite the shot clock being turned off.
New York had a chance to at least tie it but Beno Udrih missed a left-handed floater in the lane as time expired.
Chandler Parsons had 17 points, Dwight Howard scored 15 and Jeremy Lin added 14 for the Rockets, who rallied from an eight-point deficit after three quarters to snap a two-game overall losing streak and beat the Knicks for the ninth straight time.
"It's a huge sigh of relief. We found a way," said Harden.
Houston has won 17 of the last 18 games in the series and nine in a row at home over New York.
Iman Shumpert was 6-for-6 on 3-pointers after going 6-for-8 in a win over San Antonio on Thursday. He scored 26 and Carmelo Anthony, who called for the ball on the Knicks' last play but didn't get it, had 25 points.
New York hasn't beaten Houston since Jan. 26, 2009. Its last road win in the series came Nov. 18, 2004.
The Knicks had plenty of chances to end both streaks.
Shumpert made a 3 and Tyson Chandler made two free throws to pull the Knicks out of a late five-point hole and tie the game with 1:02 remaining.
It was still a five-point game when they got the ball back. But after Udrih missed a 3-point try and Chandler grabbed the offensive rebound, kicking it back out to Smith, the Knicks guard took the ill-advised shot with the clock turned off.
"Honestly, I thought we were down two. I shot the ball, and I started hearing Tyson saying, 'No, no, don't take the shot' but by then it was already released. ... That was just bad basketball IQ on me," Smith said.
Teammate Andrea Bargnani made a similar blunder on Dec. 18 when he threw up -- and missed -- a 3-pointer with seconds left in overtime against Milwaukee and the Knicks leading by two.
The Knicks won that game in two overtimes. Not so this time. After Brooks' foul shots, the Knicks scrambled for tries on their final possession. Shumpert missed a leaner, Bargnani got the rebound, and Udrih ended up with the final try. His floater over Howard dipped in and out of the basket.
Earlier, Lin's 3-pointer capped an 11-4 Rockets run to open the game, but neither team led by more than that in the first half. The Knicks scored 11 of the next 14 points and took a 24-20 lead into the second quarter.
Lin had five points in an 8-0 run that gave Houston a seven-point lead in the second quarter. Anthony hit a pair of 3s and Shumpert made one during an 11-2 Knicks run but the Rockets came right back and took a 48-47 lead at the break.
Shumpert made a 3 during a quick 7-0 burst for the Knicks in the third quarter that broke a tie and he later knocked down another one to make it a nine-point game. New York led 81-73 going into the fourth quarter.
The Rockets are off until Wednesday, when they will end a three-game homestand against the Los Angeles Lakers ... The Knicks end a four-game road trip Sunday in Dallas.