Rockets aim for more success vs. Knicks

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets snapped a mini skid last time out and will try and carry that momentum into Monday night's battle with the New York Knicks at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets had dropped two straight, including a road game to the Memphis Grizzlies, and a home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Both losses came without All-Star center Dwight Howard, who received platelet-rich plasma therapy in his right knee and the timetable for his return is uncertain.

Houston got back into the win column with a 95-92 home win over the red-hot Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. The Rockets held the league's leading offense almost 17 points under their average.

"Extremely important for us," said guard James Harden. "Bad loss last game, we wanted to come back out."

Harden's 32 points, coupled with his solid defense down the stretch, led the Rockets. Patrick Beverley deposited 20 points and Donatas Motiejunas supplied 14 points and 12 rebounds in place of Howard.

Harden forced a late turnover by Dallas' Monta Ellis, then prevented Dirk Nowitzki from getting a good look for a game-tying 3-pointer with about five seconds on the clock.

The Rockets will play the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers on this homestand.

The Knicks prevented the Philadelphia 76ers from getting into the win column on Saturday night with a 91-83 victory at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks hit the road over the Thanksgiving holiday with dates in Dallas on Wednesday and Oklahoma City on Friday.

Against the Sixers, Carmelo Anthony led the way with 25 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field. Amare Stoudemire registered a double-double off the bench with 16 points and 11 rebounds, all under 20 minutes of playing time.

"He's just doing whatever he can do to help the team," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said of Stoudemire.

Quincy Acy was the other Knicks player in double figures with 10.

Jose Calderon made his season debut for New York after missing the first 11 with a calf injury. He started and scored three points on 1-for-6 shooting from the field.

The Rockets have owned the Knicks in recent history, winning nine straight and 17 of the last 18 meetings. The Knicks' last victory over Houston, where New York has dropped nine in a row, was Jan. 26, 2009.