The Knicks had no answer for James Harden, who led the Rockets to a 123-112 win over New York in Houston on Monday. >> Box Score
Five things to know from Monday's game
1) Like most teams this season, the Knicks were unable to keep Harden in check. Even though the Rockets were without Russell Westbrook, Harden paced the Rockets with 37 points to lead Houston to the win. With a 21-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, Harden fell awkwardly while backpedaling on defense, but remained in the game.
2) The Knicks kept it close in the first quarter, and even led Houston by as many as three points late into the opening stanza. But the Rockets closed out the quarter to with a three-point lead of their own and outscored the Knicks 36-24 in the second quarter to head into halftime with a 72-57 lead. A hallmark of any team coached by Mike D'Antoni is its willingness to dial it up from long distance, and these Rockets are no exception. Houston shot 16-for-48 from three-point range on Monday.
3) RJ Barrett led all Knicks' scorers with 21 points and contributed across the stat sheet, adding six rebounds, three assists and a steal.
4) Mitchell Robinson played 26 minutes off the bench and contributed to the second unit with his trademark energy and efficency. He went 4-for-5 from the field, scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds while adding five blocks on the defensive end. He added two assists and two steals, as well.
5) No Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Payton meant extended minutes for Dennis Smith Jr., and he responded with 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and a whopping seven steals.
Mitch block and alley-oop in one sequence. You really love to see it. pic.twitter.com/cHZ0yIHIsd- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 25, 2020
3⃣ ball for the hometown kid pic.twitter.com/WQpDI4Eb3b- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 25, 2020
Moe swipes it, Bullock sinks it pic.twitter.com/EWWPamCKzG- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) February 25, 2020
In the midst of a three-game road trip, the Knicks will travel to Charlotte for the first of a back-to-back on Wednesday. They'll then head to Philadelphia for a matchup with the 76ers on Thursday.