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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets edge the Knicks in final seconds

Rockets' starters scored 89 points

Posted: January 3, 2014 -- 11:17 pm CST.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets outscored the New York Knicks 29 to 19 in the fourth quarter and edged the Knicks 102-100 Friday night in front of another sold-out crowd.

The Knicks had their chances in the final seconds to win the game; but, the Knicks showed everyone why they're a losing team (10-22) this season.

After Beno Udrih missed a go-ahead three-point shot, Tyson Chandler tipped out the rebound to a wide open J.R. Smith with 23 seconds remaining. Instead of holding the ball for the final possession, Smith launched a three-point shot with 19.9 seconds on the clock and missed.

Aaron Brooks grabbed the missed shot and was fouled. Brooks made both foul shots to give the Rockets a 102-100 lead.

The Knicks called a 20 second timeout to set up what became a wild, wild finish.

After Carmelo Anthony caught the inbounds pass, he dished to Iman Shumpert. Shumpert pump-faked at the three-point line and dribbled a few feet closer to launch an 18-foot jumper. His shot missed.

Andrea Bargnani grabbed the rebound five feet from the basket; but, instead of attempting a short putback, Bargnani passed out the ball to Anthony. Anthony dribbled and dished to Udrih with 6.9 seconds on the clock. Udrih dribbled and dished to J.R. Smith. Smith dribbled before passing back to Udrih with 3.2 seconds remaining.

Udrih dribbled left and launched a runner from the free throw line. The shot rimmed out; and, the Rockets picked up their 22nd win of the season (22-13).

"The ball was flying all over the place," Kevin McHale said of the Knicks' final possession. "They got an offensive rebound and kicked it out. We kind of scrambled our way around and ended up with Udrih taking a runner there. We just found a way to win the game tonight again."

The Rockets started the game red-hot and led 11-4. Jeremy Lin scored seven of the 11 points as he was attack mode from the opening tip.

However, the Rockets' offense bogged down and the Knicks tied the game at 16 and led 24-20 at the end of the first period.

Lin scored seven more points in the second quarter. The Rockets' starters combined for 23 points in the second 12 minutes and outscored the Knicks 28-23 in the period to lead 48-47 at halftime. Lin scored 14 first-half points and Harden added 10.

Harden scored 16 points in the third quarter; but, he received little him from his teammates. The rest of the Rockets scored just nine points. Meanwhile, the Knicks dropped 34 points on the Rockets in the quarter -- 13 points from Iman Shumpert (4 for 5 field goals, 3 for 3 from three) and 11 points from Anthony (5 for 10 field goals).

The Rockets trailed the Knicks 81-73 after three quarters.

Chandler Parsons scored the Rockets' first 4 points of the fourth quarter; then, Aaron Brooks and Francisco Garcia each hit three-point shots to put the Rockets ahead 83-82 at the 9:16 mark of the period.

Tim Hardaway, Jr. split two free throws to tie the game at 83.

Over the next eight minutes, the game was tied seven more times.

Harden carried the Rockets in the fourth quarter with 11 points (3 for 3 field goals and 4 for 4 free throws); but, Brooks' two free throws with 17 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Harden scored a game-high 37 points.

"We found a way," Harden said. "Like I said, it wasn't pretty. It wasn't the prettiest win; but, at the end of the night, a win is all that matters."

Chandler Parsons added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the 14th double-double of his career.

"It was one of those games where it wasn't pretty again," Parsons added. "We're scratching; and, we are fighting right now and not a lot is going our way. But, that's a good tough win with a great home crowd.

"A lot of guys stepped up tonight. I'm happy to come out of there with a win; but, we can definitely learn from this and get better because it wasn't pretty."

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