- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Knicks are in Houston on Friday night, trying to beat Jeremy Lin's Rockets and avoid losing two straight regular season games for the first time in the Mike Woodson era.
So far, it's not going so well. The Knicks are getting torched on defense and turning the ball over more than they've grown accustomed to.
Here are a few more observations from the first half of Knicks-Rockets.
DEFICIENT ON DEFENSE: The Knicks have allowed 35, 30, 35 and 37 points in the last four quarters. That's not what we've seen from Woodson's team in the first nine games. They started to show cracks in the Dallas game Wednesday, allowing the Mavs to shoot nearly 50 percent from the field and hit 45 percent of their 3-point attempts.
The questionable defense continued on Friday as the Knicks allowed Houston to hit 53 percent of its shots, including six of its 10 three-point attempts.
Harden has 25 and is 15-for-15 from the line.
Jeremy Lin hasn't made a huge impact so far, finishing with six points, two rebounds, two assists and a turnover. He beat Pablo Prigioni on an outlet for a wide-open layup to cap an 11-3 Rockets run in the second quarter.
AN EFFICIENT MELO: Carmelo Anthony leads the Knicks with 24 points on 9-for-13 shooting. He's hit four of his five 3-point attempts and has four rebounds and an assists. But he also has a game-high four turnovers and three fouls. J.R. Smith also has three fouls and has hurt the Knicks on offense, going 1-for-7 in the first half.
TYSON HOBBLED? Tyson Chandler appeared to have hurt his knee during a collision in the first half. He was limping a bit and rubbing his knee and appeared to be in pain. He had four rebounds and two points in 15 minutes in the first half. With Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot) out, the Knicks need big minutes out of Chandler. For some reason, Mike Woodson went to Kurt Thomas off the bench over Marcus Camby.
Camby did not play in the first half.
TURNOVER ISSUES: For the second straight game, the Knicks have been sloppy with the ball. New York has eight turnovers, leading to 12 Houston points. They entered play Friday averaging a league-low 10.7 per game but had 14 in their loss against Dallas on Wednesday. The Knicks are also being outscored in the paint, 28-18.
The Rockets, by the way, have won 13 of the last 14 meetings with the Knicks, including seven in a row at home.