After a two-game experiment with Wilson Chandler in the starting lineup, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni went back to Timofey Mozgov against the Houston Rockets in the first half last night.

Chandler was outplayed by Timberwolves forward Kevin Love in the Knicks' 112-103 loss Friday night. Love finished with 31 points and 31 rebounds and the Knicks blew a 21-point lead. "Wilson was trying," D'Antoni said. "The guy's too big and pushed him around a little bit."

However, D'Antoni put Chandler back in as the starter to begin the second half.

The Knicks were 3-4 with Mozgov starting and 0-2 with Chandler. With Mozgov at center, Amar'e Stoudemire was able to slide back to his more natural power forward slot.

The Knicks were without backup center Ronny Turiaf (sprained left knee) for the third straight game. D'Antoni said he hopes Turiaf will be able to play Tuesday in Denver when the Knicks open a four-game trip to the West. "I think in the long run it's better we have more brawn up front," D'Antoni said.

Mozgov was averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds. So it's no big surprise that D'Antoni is pining for Turiaf.

"At the beginning of the year, I didn't think he was that important," D'Antoni said. "But as he goes on, he's playing a big role."

Hill, Jeffries visit

Jordan Hill returned for the second time since the Knicks traded him to Houston as part of the Tracy McGrady deal. The eighth overall pick in the 2009 draft, he was averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.5 minutes. Jared Jeffries, another part of the deal, was averaging 2.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 9.4 minutes. Hill had six points; Jeffries was inactive.


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