Houston at New York

Chandler nets 18 points off bench to lift Knicks over Rockets

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Anyone who comes off the Knicks bench seems to be scoring these days.

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Wilson Chandler was removed from the starting lineup after his recent struggles and responded with 18 points in a 104-98 victory against the Houston Rockets on Monday night. Fellow reserve Nate Robinson continued his strong play to lead New York with 19 points.

Chandler's 3-pointer with more than two minutes left gave the Knicks the lead for good at 97-96.

The Knicks' reserves scored at least 50 points for the fourth consecutive game.

"Wil really responded today," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "You knew he would. He's played real well all year."

New York had been 0-21 in games in which it trailed after three quarters.

"For once we started the fourth quarter down and we won the game," D'Antoni said. "That's a baby step."

The Rockets were playing without center Yao Ming (sore right knee) for the second successive game. Yao went out just as Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest were returning from injuries of their own.

Artest (right ankle) had 24 points Sunday in a victory at Detroit, but struggled with 4-of-19 shooting against the Knicks. McGrady (left knee) had 20 points with more than five minutes left in the game then missed his last five shots.

Chandler often faced the assignment of guarding McGrady. Chandler had been replaced by Al Harrington in the starting lineup after averaging 3.3 points on 25 percent shooting during his previous three games. He was 6-for-10 on Monday and added seven rebounds and three assists.

Houston led 89-80 with less than eight minutes left when the Knicks went on a 14-5 run to tie the score.

Robinson scored nine points during the spurt. He's averaging 20.3 points during his past four games, bouncing back from a slump in which he averaged 9.7 during the previous 11.

Chandler had his first scoreless game of the season Saturday in a loss at Philadelphia. During the Knicks' day off Sunday, he spent a few hours in the gym.

"Coach, he's going to make a lot of changes," Chandler said. "If he feels a certain way that things are going to make us win, he's going to make that change."

After Luis Scola scored inside to break the tie, Chandler's 3-pointer put the Knicks ahead to stay.

Scola had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Houston.

The Rockets attempted a season-high 33 3-pointers, making only 10.

"We're not playing team ball," guard Rafer Alston said. "We were very selfish tonight. They were able to capitalize on our selfishness. We have to decide whether we're going to play one-on-one or we're going to pass the ball to each other and play team ball."

Notes

  • The Knicks had lost eight straight to Houston. They last beat the Rockets on Nov. 18, 2004.
  • Knicks rookie Danilo Gallinari returned after sitting out one game with a sore lower back. He had four points.
  • The Knicks' Tim Thomas hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter.
  • Rockets backup center Dikembe Mutombo pleased the crowd with his trademark finger wag in the second half after they hooted him for standing up off the bench and arguing a call.
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David Lee racks up another double-double, netting 17 points and 13 rebounds.  (Getty Images)
David Lee racks up another double-double, netting 17 points and 13 rebounds. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Houston (28-18) 2335221898
New York (19-25) «29261930104
HOU:T. McGrady 20 Pts
HOU:L. Scola 14 Reb
HOU:T. McGrady 6 Ast
NY:N. Robinson 19 Pts
NY:D. Lee 13 Reb
NY:C. Duhon 11 Ast
Players of the Game
New YorkHouston

D. Lee

L. Scola
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
1713216141
Houston
R. Artest, SF344-192-273211
S. Battier, SF321-20-05253
T. McGrady, SG317-203-446120
R. Alston, PG313-100-02227
L. Scola, PF286-114-4141416
A. Brooks, PG205-91-231313
C. Landry, PF195-96-630116
V. Wafer, SG163-72-21029
C. Hayes, PF160-20-06120
B. Barry, SG131-10-02113
D. Mutombo, CDid Not Play
Y. Ming, CDid Not Play
L. Head, PGDid Not Play
J. Dorsey, PFDid Not Play
Totals 35-9018-2047172398
 38.9%90.0% 
New York
C. Duhon, PG415-110-0611212
D. Lee, PF407-133-5132217
A. Harrington, PF275-122-220213
Q. Richardson, SF202-53-43117
J. Jeffries, PF161-21-22023
T. Thomas, PF293-84-450411
W. Chandler, SF286-105-673318
N. Robinson, PG278-152-262119
D. Gallinari, SF130-24-42124
S. Marbury, PGDid Not Play
M. Rose, PFDid Not Play
J. James, PFDid Not Play
E. Curry, CDid Not Play
A. Roberson, SFDid Not Play
Totals 37-7824-29462019104
 47.4%82.8% 
Other Games
Pho 103 Final
Wash 87
Atl 79 Final
Mia 95
Phi 86 Final
NO 101
Min 90 Final
Mil 83
NJ 85 Final
OKC 94
Port 113 Final
LAC 88