NBA Game Summary - Houston at New York
(Friday, January 21st)
Final Score: Houston 92, New York 91
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Scott Padgett's basket at the buzzer lifted the Houston Rockets over the New York Knicks, 92-91, at Madison Square Garden.
Tracy McGrady, who set up the winning hoop, scored a game-high 35 for Houston, which has won two straight. Yao Ming added 22 points and 12 boards as the Rockets have captured six of eight overall and five of seven on the road.
Stephon Marbury had 20 points and Jamal Crawford tallied 18 points for the Knicks, who have lost five straight and fell to 1-10 in their last 11 contests.
After trailing by 10 points, 82-72, 4:40 into the fourth, the Knicks began to mount a comeback. New York scored 19 of the next 25 points to go ahead 91-88 with 1:31 left. Strong free throw shooting got the Knicks into it, hitting 13- of-15 from the line in the stanza. Jerome Williams hit a pair from the line with 1:51 on the clock to give the Knicks an 89-88 edge. Then, Marbury hit two from the stripe to cap the run and extend the lead to 91-88.
That, however, would be it from New York. Yao hit a jumper to make it a 91-90 contest with 1:14 remaining and a pair of New York mistakes gave the Rockets one final chance.
After Yao's basket, Marbury came up empty on a long jumper with 55 seconds left. Then, after Yao threw the ball to Marbury when trying to save an errant Jon Barry pass that was headed out of bounds, Crawford and Marbury played hot potato as the shot clock ran out with 10.2 ticks remaining.
"That was a big stop for us," said Padgett. "Without that stop, they score, we have to hit a three and things are different."
Crawford appeared to have the open jumper, but passed the ball back to Marbury and the 24-second clock expired, giving the ball back to the Rockets on the other side of mid-court.
"I went to shoot and never got a good grasp," said Crawford. "I don't want to put up a bad shot at that point."
Following a Houston timeout, McGrady inbounded to Yao, who gave the ball back to McGrady. He then dribbled down the lane and kicked it out to Padgett at the elbow extended. Padgett took a dribble into the lane and tossed up the runner that banked home as time expired.
"I was actually looking to pass that thing," added Padgett, who said the original play was to get McGrady a shot off a screen. "When I turned to pass it to Jon Barry there was a guy in the passing lane, so I knew I had to get a shot up. I got lucky. I don't think I've ever hit a floater in my career."
Padgett ended with 12 points and was the only player other than McGrady and Yao to be in double figures.
"They don't call many plays for me to win a game," said Padgett. "I have two in my career. I got a tip three years ago in Utah."
The buzzer-beater avenged the Rockets' loss earlier this year at home to New York when Crawford banked home a three for a 93-92 win.
"We did the same thing to them on their court," said Crawford. "This was disheartening."
The Knicks held a 46-43 halftime lead, but the Rockets opened the third with 13 straight points to take a 10-point advantage 56-46. McGrady scored six points during the burst, which was capped by a Yao bucket 3:45 into the stanza.
New York battled back to go ahead 63-62 with 1:57 on the clock when Marbury connected on a layup. The bucket ended a 13-2 run for the Knicks, who quickly relinquished their edge.
McGrady hit a pair of free throws 18 seconds later to start a 10-0 burst to end the stanza. He tallied eight of the ten points, hitting a pair of threes to go along with his two from the line, as the Rockets went into the fourth ahead 72-63.
Mike Sweetney had 15 points and eight boards and Kurt Thomas added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks...NY's Allan Houston missed the game with a knee injury...Tim Thomas played only 14 minutes for NY and was on the bench with ice on his right leg...NY has dropped three straight and five of six at home...Marbury failed to lead the Knicks in assists for just the second time this season.
01/21 23:24:40 ET