Reaction: Rockets beat Knicks before buzzer as Aaron Holiday erupts late

HOUSTON — In their penultimate game before the NBA’s 2024 All-Star break, the Rockets (24-29) snapped a four-game losing streak with Monday’s dramatic 105-103 home win (box score) over the Knicks (33-21). Aaron Holiday, who scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, hit two tiebreaking free throws with 0.3 seconds left after a controversial foul was called on New York’s Jalen Brunson.

Both teams were short-handed, with the Knicks missing Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, and Isaiah Hartenstein due to injury while Houston was without Fred VanVleet, Tari Eason, and Cam Whitmore.

Brunson led the Knicks with 27 points and 7 assists, though his tying jumper with 8.3 seconds left was offset by his foul of Holiday.

It was a balanced effort for the Rockets, who were led by the best 3-point shooting night of the season from Dillon Brooks.

Key stat lines included:

  • Dillon Brooks: 23 points, 5 rebounds; 8-of-15 shooting (53.3%), 6-of-7 on 3-pointers (85.7%)

  • Jabari Smith Jr.: 20 points, 7 rebounds; 6-of-13 shooting (46.2%), 2-of-6 on 3-pointers (33.3%)

  • Alperen Sengun: 18 points, 6 assists, 3 blocks, 3 reboundsl 6-of-10 shooting (60.0%)

  • Jalen Green: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists; 4-of-15 shooting (26.7%), 0-of-6 on 3-pointers, 8-of-9 on free throws (88.9%)

  • Amen Thompson: 8 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals; 4-of-5 shooting (80.0%)

  • Aaron Holiday: 18 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds; 7-of-14 shooting (50.0%), 2-of-6 on 3-pointers (33.3%)

In a game where the Rockets were out-rebounded by the larger Knicks, 51-39, the gritty defensive contributions by the likes of Holiday, Thompson, and Brooks were critical to Houston holding on.

Here’s our look at Monday’s highlights and postgame interviews, along with reaction by media members and fans. Next up for the Rockets is Wednesday’s game at Memphis (18-35), where tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. Central. That will be the final game before a hiatus of more than a week for the NBA’s 2024 All-Star Weekend.

Feb. 12 Rockets-Knicks reaction

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire