Immanuel Quickley scored 22 points, including three critical second-half 3-pointers, as the host New York Knicks beat the reeling Houston Rockets 121-99 on Saturday.
Quickley, one of six Knicks to score in double figures, shot 7 for 9 from the floor and drilled four 3-pointers.
The Knicks opened a stretch of 7 of 8 games at home in impressive fashion, securing the lead in the first quarter before maintaining control by outpacing the Rockets from behind the arc and in the paint. The Knicks posted a 60-44 advantage on paint points and hit 12 of 28 of their 3-pointers.
The Knicks widened their early lead to 17 points on two occasions in the second quarter, but Rockets guard John Wall almost single-handedly sliced that deficit to five points, keying a 10-1 run that cut the margin to 77-70 before adding a pair of free throws en route to 15 third-quarter points on 5-of-8 shooting.
But Quickley hit a trey at the 1:48 mark of the third and another with 29.7 seconds left in the quarter to push the lead to 87-75. He opened the scoring in the fourth with another 3-pointer at the 10:59 mark and the Knicks never looked back.
Wall finished with a game-high 26 points while Eric Gordon chipped in 24 points (but missed 6 of 7 from long range) for the Rockets, who made only 8 of 43 3-pointers while shooting 37.5 percent overall.
DeMarcus Cousins added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Houston, which played without starters Christian Wood (ankle) and Victor Oladipo (foot). The Rockets have dropped five consecutive games, all with Wood sidelined, after winning 7 of 8 games prior to the skid.
Julius Randle paired 22 points with nine rebounds for the Knicks, while Derrick Rose scored 16 points and Elfrid Payton added 15.
New York played without center Mitchell Robinson, who will be sidelined for at least four weeks after breaking his right hand on Friday against the Wizards. Nerlens Noel posted 10 points and six rebounds starting in place of Robinson.