The New York Knicks, legitimately good basketball team, strolled into Houston Saturday and knocked off a struggling Rockets club, 107-102. Statistically speaking, it was a matchup between the league's most improved team and the league's most regressed team -- a regressed team missing their starting center, no less.
Now that I've given you some context, I want you to grab a can of gasoline, pour it all over that context, and light that shit on fire. Screw context -- the Knicks defeated the Houston Rockets! In Houston! In a basketball game!
The Rockets are usually not given their rightful place in the pantheon of Knicks tormentors. They're way out there in the Western Conference, which means they don't get a chance to crush New York on the regular, like the Celtics, Heat, Pacers and Bulls. But make no mistake, my friends: no team has destroyed our beloved franchise quite as efficiently as the Rockets. The '94 Finals. The Jeremy Lin poison pill deal. (That contract cost them a first-rounder just to unload it on the Lakers, making it one of the more expensive troll jobs in NBA history).
How thoroughly have the Rockets owned New York? Let's crunch the numbers:
- Before Saturday, the Knicks were 1-19 against Houston over the past decade.
- The Knicks had lost 11 games in a row to the Rockets overall, with their last win coming on Jan. 26, 2009.
- The Knicks had lost 10 consecutive games in Houston, dating back to Jamal Crawford's buzzer-beater on Nov. 18, 2004.
I don't care if Houston finishes the season 10 games out of the playoff race; this was a win to savor. The Knicks finally knocked off their longtime tormentors. Kristaps Porzingis blocked everyone and scored all the points. It was glorious.
New York will get another crack at the Rockets one week from now, when Houston comes to MSG on Sunday, Nov. 29. In case you were wondering, the Knicks' last season sweep over the Rockets came in 2002-03.