The Houston Rockets withstood a 45-point barrage from Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, holding on for a 109-106 victory over the New York Knicks in the NBA.
Houston’s James Harden scored 36 points on his return from injury, while Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin enjoyed another triumph at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Houston’s win came despite Anthony’s outstanding performance. His 45 points were the most scored by one player in a game this season and he also brought down 10 rebounds, but it was not enough to prevent the Knicks from suffering a fourth straight home defeat.
Chandler Parsons added 22 points and Lin had 21 for the Rockets, making up for the subdued seven points and 15 rebounds from Rockets big man Dwight Howard.
Anthony had two chances to tie the game in the final minute.
He missed one three-pointer and on his second opportunity he was fouled by Harden. Though the ball went in, referee Scott Foster ruled the foul came before Anthony got the shot off and it did not count.
“The initial contact is way before what probably everybody else thinks,” said Foster, whose call was greeted by boos from the Madison Square Garden crowd. “It’s a push, a slap and then another slap, but we’ve already called the foul on the initial contact. Now he turns and throws it up..”
J.R. Smith’s last gasp heave from midcourt bounced off the backboard as time expired.
It was a welcome win for the Rockets, who had dropped three of their previous four.
Lin added five rebounds and three assists in the arena where his exploits as a Knicks reserve-turned-star sparked “Linsanity” in the 2011-2012 season.
“I was just having fun out there,” Lin said. “You know, I miss playing at the Garden.”