If the Knicks' game plan was to shut down Jeremy Lin, it may have been misguided. They should have concentrated more on stopping the Rockets' Chandler Parsons and James Harden.
On a team that does not start a player with more than three years of N.B.A. experience, Chandler Parsons, left, is finding his groove. (Pat Sullivan/Associated Press)
Parsons was an offensive force Friday in Houston's decisive 131-103 win at Toyota Center. He scored a career-high 31 points, 18 in the first quarter, and shared the spotlight with Harden, who had a team-high 33 points.
Lin was steady at point guard in his first game against the Knicks since signing with Houston as a free agent in the off-season. But the night belonged to Parsons.
"I felt every shot was going to go in," said Parsons, who was 13 of 17 from the field. "James and Jeremy were finding me on 3-pointers. The spacing was unbelievable."
In the early going, Parsons rang up points at an alarming rate. With 3 minutes 37 seconds left in the first quarter, Parsons hit a 3-pointer to give the Rockets a 29-22 lead.
"Chandler starting like he did got us to a great start," said Kelvin Sampson, the Rockets' acting head coach.
In the first half, Parsons was 11 of 13 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and he had three steals. For the game, he also had five rebounds and four assists.
Lin, who has struggled so far this season, had one of his better games, with 13 points on 6 of 12 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and three assists.
"That's the thing about us," Parsons said. "We got guys that can get you every single night."
At 6-9, Parsons can guard multiple positions. He said he enjoyed going up against the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, who had a game-high 37 points on 14 of 24 shooting.
"You look forward to playing against a guy like Carmelo," said Parsons, whose previous high in scoring was 25 points against Miami on Nov. 12.
Anthony said: "I'm not surprised. I've been watching him for a while. I like the way he's been playing. He kind of caught us at a time by surprise with guys not seeing him before."
Source: The New York Times | RICHARD DEAN