Rockets 109, Knicks 96: Jeremy Lin collected 22 points and eight assists in his return to Madison Square Garden as Houston snapped a seven-game road losing skid while handing New York its first home loss.
James Harden, who had 33 points in the teams' previous meeting last month, scored 28 points and matched a career high with 10 rebounds on Monday. The Rockets pulled away after holding the Knicks to a 4-for-23 effort from the field during their season-low 11-point second quarter.
Signed to a backloaded three-year, $25 million deal in the offseason, Lin initially received a loud ovation before the tone slowly changed. Lin heard a smattering of boos as the game went on, although he was "cheered" after shooting an airball.
Lin drilled a 3-pointer to cap a 10-0 run to start the second quarter. After Chris Copeland scored nine straight points to trim the Knicks' deficit to five in the third quarter, Harden highlighted a 15-0 run with back-to-back 3-pointers as Houston seized a 73-55 lead.
Copeland started in place of Carmelo Anthony and scored a career-high 29 points for the Knicks, who saw their four-game winning streak come to an end and dropped to 10-1 at home.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Anthony missed his second straight game with a left ankle injury. ... Amar'e Stoudemire is expected to practice with the Knicks' D-League team on Wednesday. Stoudemire hasn't played this season following left knee surgery. ... Houston also throttled New York in the teams' first encounter with a 131-103 victory on Nov. 23.