• Brian L. Barefield

Knicks “Bully Ball” Too Much For The Rockets

Photo Credit/Houston Rockets

For the second game in a row, an All-Star on the opposite team took advantage of the short-handed Houston Rockets. On Saturday it was the Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry who scored 23 of his 30 points in the third quarter of a 113-87 victory.

One day later it was the leading candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, Julius Randle’s turn to feast on a Rockets team who only suited up nine players. He scored 31 points in just three quarters of action as the Knicks defeated the Rockets 122-97.

New York’s brutal and physical style of basketball was a change of pace from the finesse style Houston seen a day earlier against the Warriors. The Knicks pounded the paint in the first half to take a 59-44 lead into halftime. They continued their relentless attack in the second half as they cruised to victory.

''We turned it up I the second half,'' said Randle. ''Made good plays, defense tightened up and we busted the game open.''

Houston did make a run late in the third quarter to pull within 73-64, but Randle would soon stop all hope as he would score eight consecutive points to push the lead to 17 points. Forward Christian Wood and center Kelly Olynyk combined for 36 points and 18 rebounds for Houston who now holds the NBA’s worst record at 16-49.

“The fight in these guys is always there,” Rockets head coach Stephen Silas told reporters after the game. “The resiliency for as much as we can have it, I am definitely proud of the guys for that.”

Houston will be back on the court at Toyota Center on Wednesday as they welcome in the Philadelphia 76ers.

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