Knicks Top Wolves, 118-106
For the majority of Wednesday’s game, it looked like roles were reversed for the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Wolves had won three straight and six out of seven, while the Knicks had dropped seven straight going into the game.
Judging by the play of the teams in the game, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. The Wolves fell 118-106 to the Knicks on Wednesday night at the Target Center.
Wolves vs. Knicks
The Knicks were hot in the quarter, shooting 55.6 percent. The Wolves? Not so much. They shot just 35 percent after one.
“We just got off to a real bad start,” coach Rick Adelman said. “We let them control everything, get in a rhythm, didn’t defend them that well in the first quarter and you know, they have good offensive players and they took it from there.
That role reversal wasn’t a first quarter fluke… It lasted throughout most of the game.
The Wolves trailed 66-55 at halftime. Kevin Love led the Wolves with 18 points at the break, but no other player was in double-digits. Anthony led New York with 20 points. Raymond Felton, who had struggled of late, had 11 points, six coming from the free-throw line.
New York shot 51.1 percent in the first half compared to Minnesota’s mark of 45.5 percent.
A third quarter run came from the Wolves, and they got the score to 85-83 with 1:25 left in the third after a Tyson Chandler technical foul. Nikola Pekovic had a big quarter, scoring eight points, putting his total at 17.
The bad news is that Adelman had to take Pekovic out being he’s still on a minutes restriction after returning from an ankle injury. That led to a meltdown in the third when the Wolves were outscored 30-20 in the final period.
“It’s really frustrating,” Adelman said on Pekovic’s minute restriction. “We are trying to win games, you’re trying to stay relevant and everything. He had it going that third quarter… I had to take him out, it’s something we have to live with. It’s really hard.”
Love scored just one second-half points. He finished with 19 points and eight boards. Pekovic added 17 points. Corey Brewer finished with 16, while Ricky Rubio had 11 points and eight assists. Rookie Shabazz Muhammad led the second unit with 10 points.
Anthony finished with 33 points, while Chandler had 15 points and 14 rebounds.
The Wolves now sit at 30-30 overall, five spots back from the Mavericks for the eighth seed in the West.
While he didn’t do a whole lot in the second half, Love did keep the Wolves alive in the first. There aren’t a whole lot of positives from this game, but Love’s 18 first half points were something that stuck out for the Wolves. Love also played 35 minutes and 45 minutes. Only Anthony played more.
“He’s not going to have 35 points every night,” Adelman said. “We have to be realistic… He’ll bounce back from it.”
Highlight of the Night
For parts of the third quarter, it looked like Pekovic, Brewer and Rubio were going to bring the Wolves to their first lead of the game. Rubio and Pekovic were on the same page and the energy at the Target Center was noticeable, especially after Chandler’s technical foul.
The Numbers Game
Knicks 118, Wolves 106
“Yeah, we just didn’t have, the way we were playing on the road, we didn’t have it here at home. Completely different teams.” Wolves guard J.J. Barea on the difference between the team’s success on the road and Wednesday night’s home game against the Knicks.
The Wolves stay at home on Friday night as they host Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons at 7 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports North and WCCO AM-830.