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Rockets 116, Knicks 111(OT): Scenes from a torturous collapse

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Dammit dammit dammit dammit dammit. The Knicks were well on their way to a tidy Melo-less win and a .500 record, but a minute extra of bench guys here, a bad call there, and some familiar tightness in crucial moments added up to a crushing defeat. I'll recap in full later on, but for now let's look at a few moments on the road to collapse:

The Knicks built a double-digit lead because Arron Afflalo was hot as hell:

... but also because the Rockets missed a lot of open shots while New York's weirdest players piled up tons of weird, huge plays:

Some of that stuff is just bizarre. Some of it is a bunch of plucky Knicks attacking the very sleepy Rockets.

But New York couldn't hold onto a good thing. They kept turning the ball over, kept surrendering offensive rebounds off tough bounces and, down the stretch, couldn't handle James Harden...

...or at least grab the carom of his bricked jumper:

Arron Afflalo, even after while getting battered about the head and neck repeatedly (including on the blatantly moving screen that bought Trevor Ariza *the* back-breaking three in overtime), finished his brilliant performance as a one-man back-down monster ...

... but it wasn't enough. The Knicks -- as was the case throughout an endgame curious devoid of Robin Lopez, their best screener by far -- couldn't get the ball to the spots they wanted and missed some unfriendly attempts in the final seconds while Kristaps Porzingis wallowed.

That sucked a whole lot. Full recap later.