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Alec Burks takes over in fourth quarter for Knicks

Knicks center Nerlens Noel drives past Houston Rockets

Knicks center Nerlens Noel drives past Houston Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate in the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Alec Burks had no idea how well he was playing.

Burks’ 17 points, four steals and three assists in the fourth quarter are basically the reason the Knicks avoided an embarrassing loss to the Houston Rockets Saturday night. Burks was 5-for-6 in the fourth quarter as the Knicks defeated the Rockets, 106-99, at Madison Square Garden.

"I’m just basically trying to win a game. Things happen like that," Burks said after the game. "It could have been anybody. But it was my night tonight. I don’t’ really feel it. I’m in the moment and it’s over. And everybody tells me about it."

It was something Nerlens Noel loved to see.

"Six for seven . . . It’s a beautiful feeling," Noel said. I had the mindset of just keep setting screens. I’ll do whatever you need me to do."

Noel makes his 'D' presence known

Nerlens Noel, playing in his first game since Nov. 8, was a big defensive presence for the Knicks.

Noel, who missed 11 of 16 games because of a sore knee, came up with three blocked shots in the game, including two in the fourth quarter when the Knicks were taking control.

"My knee was in a decent place," the Knicks center said. "Wasn’t the best place but you know I felt good enough to get out there and give what I have. My wind. I feel good about tomorrow. ……I’m looking forward to tomorrow."

Rose takes it one game at time

The Knicks may have a brutal stretch of the season coming up, but at least one person on the team isn’t paying much attention. Veteran point guard Derrick Rose said sometimes he doesn’t pay attention to who the team is playing until the morning of the game.

"When I was you younger, I would think about matchups and all that. But [now] I go game by game," he said. "Sometimes I don’t know until I walk in that morning . . . Make sure you give everyone respect. No matter who it is, I want to give them respect and give my best effort no matter what game."

New York Sports