Rockets Defeat Knicks Behind Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill

Published on: 22nd March, 2010

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New York — The Knicks discovered this afternoon the ups and downs associated with handing over the leadership mantle to a rookie point guard. The rookie, Toney Douglas, committed three turnovers, two offensive fouls, missed two long jumpers, and committed three fouls, all in the final three minutes of a close game against the Houston Rockets as the Knicks ended up on the losing end of a 116-112 game.

The former Rocket, Tracy McGrady,  in a rare moment for him of team first, asked to go back in during the fourth quarter, believing he could help pull out a victory over the team that hadn’t wanted him anymore.

Instead, the day belonged to the players the Houston Rockets acquired when they shipped out McGrady. Kevin Martin scored 28 points, Jared Jeffries and rookie Jordan Hill played key roles down the stretch for the Rockets.

The Rockets acquired Martin from Sacramento, and Hill and Jeffries from New York last month in a three-team deal at the trade deadline.

Jeffries, who didn’t play in the first half, blocked two shots and drew three charges in the fourth quarter, including two on Toney Douglas in the last 2:29.

“When you have a part, a hand in your team winning, especially against a former team, it’s always fun,” Jeffries said.

Hill finished with a season-high 13 points. Jeffries, who had been the Knicks’ best defensive player, stepped in to take some crucial charges in the final quarter.

“I was trying to find anybody who wanted to guard somebody. He did a great job when he came in,” Houston coach Rick Adelman said of Jeffries. “I just thought his length, he could guard [Al] Harrington, he could guard Tracy. He did a great job.”

Aaron Brooks scored seven straight points in the closing minutes and finished with 16 for the Rockets. Reserves Kyle Lowry and Chase Budinger each scored 18.

Douglas, who has taken over the the Knicks point guard position as another woeful season is winding down for this franchise, has shown flashes of talent that the Knicks feel could make him into a useful player. He certainly filled up the stat sheet today, scoring 26 points to go along with four assists, three rebounds, and six out of 10 shooting from three-point land.

“Today was a learning experience for me,” said Douglas. “The coach tells me if I see an opening, or if the shot is there, I should take it. Sometimes things don’t go your way but I’m a confident player. This doesn’t get me down at all though I wish we had won this game.”

McGrady finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 33 minutes, but was scoreless in the fourth quarter. He missed all three shots after asking to re-enter to play 5 minutes into the final period.

“Jared Jeffries got charges and that hurt us,” said Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. ” We also couldn’t stop Aaron Brooks the last three times down the stretch. We lost the game today because we let Chase Budinger leak out on breaks. You can control whether you get back on defense and we didn’t get back.” 

David Lee had 27 points and 20 rebounds for the Knicks, who blew an early, 17-point lead. Danilo Gallinari and Douglas each scored 26, with Douglas making a franchise rookie-record six three-pointers in the best game of his career.

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