Rockets hold off Knicks for controversial win
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - After being immediately hacked by James Harden from beyond the arc along the right wing, Carmelo Anthony flipped up an off-balanced 3-pointer off his back foot in the final seconds.
It somehow went in.
Referee Scott Foster, though, immediately whistled it a no shot.
Harden had 36 points and nine rebounds as the Houston Rockets held off the New York Knicks, 109-106, on Thursday.
New York trailed 107-104 with 5.8 seconds left when Anthony, who had a season- high 45 points, got the ball along the right wing. Houston elected to foul right away instead of playing out the possession defensively. Anthony, however, didn't get the continuation call.
Anthony made both foul shots before Harden sunk a pair at the other end with 2.9 ticks to go.
J.R. Smith's desperation heave from midcourt then ricocheted sharply off the backboard as time expired.
Jeremy Lin finished with 21 points, five rebounds and three assists in his second return to the Big Apple. During the 2011-12 season, "Linsanity" became an overnight sensation when Lin averaged 18.2 points and hit several game- winning shots for the Knicks.
Chandler Parsons added 22 points for Houston, which had dropped three of its last four games coming in. Dwight Howard had seven points and 15 rebounds in the triumph.
Houston has won 16 of its last 17 games against New York.
Andrea Bargnani netted 24 points for the Knicks, who have lost five of their last seven tilts. J.R. Smith chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds in defeat.
Bargnani tied the contest at 91-91 after he drained a triple midway through the fourth, but the Rockets answered and Harden capped an 11-2 run with a right wing 3 to make it 102-93 in favor of the Rockets with 3:51 to play.
The Knicks then put in the next seven points and Smith swished a left wing trey to pull the hosts within 102-100 with 2:44 remaining.
A bit later, Anthony fouled Howard away from the ball with 1:36 to go. The Knicks had employed the "Hack-A-Howard" strategy, but a foul away from the ball with less than two minutes remaining resulted in a technical free throw and possession.
Harden made the technical and Howard sunk a pair on Houston's next touch to make it 107-102 with 1:15 left.
Anthony's short baseline jumper at the other end cut the gap to three. New York regained possession following a Houston shot clock violation, but Anthony was unable to connect from deep with 30.9 seconds left.
Harden then took the clock down, but was unable to get a shot off.
Earlier, Houston was 0-for-8 from distance in the opening frame before Francisco Garcia swished one from the right corner at the horn to stake the Rockets a 28-23 advantage after a quarter of play.
The Knicks outscored the Rockets, 29-25, in the second to pull within 53-52 heading into the break. Anthony poured in 26 points in the opening half.
Houston led 75-72 after three.
Lin had 22 points and nine assists in his initial return to New York as Houston top the Knicks, 109-96, on Dec. 17, 2012 ... The Knicks have dropped four in a row at Madison Square Garden ... Rockets' center Omer Asik did not play after asking management for a trade earlier in the day. Greg Smith, Asik's replacement, played just 40 seconds before leaving the game with an apparent left knee sprain.
11/14 23:51:13 ET