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:
.@kevin_seraphin denies Dwight. #Knicks lead Rockets 29-23 2Q. #NYKvsHOU pic.twitter.com/3CuZT2ioP7— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 30, 2015
REPLAY: Wild play leads to a Thomas dunk on the fast break. #Knicks up 12 in the 2Q. #NYKvsHOU pic.twitter.com/OH0MpFsokD— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 30, 2015
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...
Beard and-1. Rockets down 101-98 with 49.1 remaining. https://t.co/TxAcmgeyFd— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 30, 2015
...or at least grab the carom of his bricked jumper:
The clutch 3 by Marcus Thornton that sent this game into OT. https://t.co/QNxMTVtG9i— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 30, 2015
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 ...
Afflalo. Huh. https://t.co/Yh7GvgdiqA— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) November 30, 2015
... 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.