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Rockets 114, Knicks 110: Scenes from the Knicks screw-up that saved Melo’s MSG scoring record

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Close, but no cigar, James Harden.

NBA: Houston Rockets at New York Knicks Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Oh my God, this game. The New York Knicks played the Rockets tough throughout, despite an insane 61-point performance from MVP candidate James Harden. Just when it looked like all hope was lost, the ‘Bockers were gifted a bucket on this brain fart from PJ Tucker.

Back-and-forth went Harden and Knicks rookie Allonzo Trier, who reached a career-high 31 points on this clutch go-ahead layup with seconds remaining.

But head coach David Fizdale wasn’t exactly putting his best defenders on the court late — does he ever? — and the Knicks simply forgot Eric Gordon, who nailed a go-ahead three with 9.8 seconds remaining.

At this point in the game I was too nervous to type, but I wanted to tweet something to the effect of “9.8 seconds remaining; do the Knicks even get a shot off?” We’ve all been here before. Sure enough, Noah Vonleh coughed up the inbounds pass and the Rockets sealed the 114-110 victory.

Oddly enough, that mental hiccup might have saved Carmelo Anthony’s cherished MSG single-game scoring record. If the Knicks had scored two points, the game would have gone into overtime, and Harden surely would have broken Melo’s 62-point mark.

Whatever. The kids played well, and the Knicks kept Harden out of the record books. I count that as a win.