The Knicks snapped their seven-game losing streak, coming out on fire, and putting the Timberwolves away with hot shooting in the first and fourth quarters.
New York started the game as hot as they’ve been offensively this year, tying their season record for points in a quarter with 38. As a team, they shot 15-27 from the field, including 5-7 from behind the arc. Raymond Felton looked spry, Amar’e Stoudemire was aggressive, and J.R. Smith even did some facilitating, picking up three assists in the first two minutes. The Knicks were up by nine before giving up their first field goal, and took a 14-point lead into the second period. Naturally, their hot streak would only last so long, but they still took an 11-point lead into the half, despite giving up an easy layup on an 80-foot inbounds pass with under five seconds left before the break.
It seemed like every time the Knicks made a nice play, they gave one right back up, and that finally caught up with them in the second half. The Timberwolves cut the deficit to four by midway through the third quarter, but were never able to take the lead. New York opened things up to 11 while Kevin Love caught was on the sideline to start the fourth, and they closed things out in convincing fashion.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 33 points (shocker), but the team wasn’t as overly reliant on his offense as they’ve been in the recent past. Felton was the real difference maker, controlling the tempo like a true floor general, and adding 18 points and eight assists. He finished the game with a plus/minus of +21. Stoudemire chipped in with 18 points, although he was way more dominant in the first half than the second, and Tyson Chandler ended with 15 points and 14 rebounds, joining David Lee and Charles Oakley as the only Knicks to grab 11 or more rebounds in at least nine straight contests. He also picked up his third technical foul in as many games, giving him seven on the season. 16 technicals equals a suspension in the NBA, so given his recent pace, Chandler will reach this mark in nine more games.
In some sort of miracle, Love was denied of a double-double, ending with 19 points and eight rebounds. Chandler did an admirable job of keeping him off the glass, but still picked up some ticky-tack fouls in the process, thus resulting in the aforementioned technical. Ricky Rubio finished with 11 points and eight assists despite being held scoreless in the first half. Nikola Pekovic ended with 17 points, and had position on Stoudemire on basically every possession.
This was one of the sloppier games of the season, not necessarily because of turnovers, but because of missed open looks, long rebounds, and senseless fouls. The Knicks may not have looked pretty doing it, but they got the job done, and at this point of the season, we’ll take it.
The Knicks will head back home for a Friday night matchup with the Utah Jazz. As always, TOK will have you covered.