McGrady leads Rockets past Knicks
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Tracy McGrady scored 23 points as Houston beat New York 93-89 at Madison Square Garden.
David Wesley notched 19 points, while Yao Ming had 15 for Houston, which extended their winning streak to three games. Stromile Swift added 12 points in the win.
Jamal Crawford scored 24 points to pace New York, which lost its fifth straight game. Jalen Rose, in his first appearance with the Knicks, posted 16 points and a season-high 11 assists. Eddy Curry scored 15 points and Qyntel Woods added 12.
The Toronto Raptors sent Rose and a 2006 first-round draft pick to New York in exchange for center Antonio Davis. Rose averaged 12.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 46 games for the Raptors this season.
Crawford drilled a three with four minutes left in the fourth quarter that brought the Knicks within 82-79. Wesley hit a pair of free throws with 1:26 left to extend Houston's lead to 84-79. Rose countered 10 seconds later with a pair of free throws to cut New York's gap to 84-81.
McGrady drove across the lane, split two defenders, and dished the ball to Swift for a slam with one minute remaining. McGrady then hit a jumper with 37.4 seconds left to make a three-possession game, 88-81.
Crawford responded with a three with 31.3 seconds to cut New York's deficit to 88-84. Rafer Alston hit one-of-two free throws with 29 seconds to raise the Rockets' lead to 89-84.
Crawford immediately drove to the lane with 24.8 seconds and converted a three-point play to cut the deficit to 89-87. Wesley was fouled right away, and hit a pair of free throws with 23.1 seconds for a four-point Houston lead.
Crawford again took the ball straight to the hoop, and scored a layup with 16.4 seconds left. Wesley was fouled again right away, but made just one-of- two for a three-point game, 92-89.
Rose heaved a three that was blocked, however with three seconds remaining. Wesley again was fouled right away and converted one-of-two, putting the game out of reach for New York.
Houston edged an early 24-20 first-quarter lead. Limiting McGrady to just four first-half points on 1-of-8 shooting, New York stayed right with Houston through the second quarter and trailed 45-42 at halftime.
Curry hit a free throw with 9:37 to go in the third quarter that gave New York a brief lead, 49-48. Houston responded with an 18-5 run, however, capped by a jumper by McGrady with 4:06 left that gave the Rockets a 66-54 lead.
The Knicks countered with a 9-0 run snapped with 1:56 to go on a turn-around jumper by McGrady, who scored 14 third-quarter points. Rose drained a three as the buzzer sounded to cut New York's deficit to 69-66 heading into the fourth.
This was the first of two meetings between the clubs this season. The Rockets are scheduled to host the Knicks on February 12th at the Toyota Center...New York opened a brief two-game homestand. The Knicks, who will host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, are 10-14 at Madison Square Garden this season. They have dropped six of their last seven at home...Houston is 12-14 as the visitor this season...Houston has won three of the last four meetings in this series. The Rockets have won three straight at MSG.HOU NYK