Knicks overcome cold shot to beat Wolves – CBS New York
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Mitchell Robinson had a season-high 14 points and 18 rebounds, Julius Randle added 13 points and 15 rebounds, and the New York Knicks outscored the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-88 on Tuesday night.
Evan Fournier scored 13 points, while Quentin Grimes added 11 off the bench for the Knicks in their second straight win.
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On a night when both attacks struggled, Robinson was New York’s key player. His 14 points came on just eight shots. But it was his rebound that, according to coach Tom Thibodeau, made the biggest difference.
“You can’t say enough about the way he played,” said Thibodeau. “I thought his bounce and Julius’s bounce was huge for us.”
Malik Beasley had 20 points and Jaden McDaniels added a high of 18 for Minnesota, who lost three of four.
With stars Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell due to COVID-19 protocols, Minnesota was able to eliminate Boston on Monday. With the three still unavailable a day later, Wolves couldn’t repeat that performance against the Knicks, thanks in large part to poor shots.
Minnesota shot just 40 percent from the ground and 18.4 percent (7 of 38) at the season’s 3-point low. Beasley was especially cold from the depths, hitting only 4 of 16.
“It was a night of rest. We had all the looks we absolutely wanted, ”said Timberwolves coach Chris Finch. “Of those 38 shots, I would say 30 of them were of high quality by our top shooters.”
The Knicks didn’t shoot much better. Randle was just 5 for 20 and New York shot 41.1%, but connected on 16 of 40 deep. The Knicks also struggled to bring down free throws, hitting just 6 of 16 off the line.
RJ Barrett was one of many Knicks who struggled to shoot on Tuesday, but he had a big 3 with 4:11 left. With several Timberwolves players standing just out of bounds in the corner of the pitch just inches from Barrett, he knocked down a 3 corner to give New York an 88-81 lead.
“I’m just happy Coach let me come back in,” Barrett said, in his second comeback after missing six straight due to health and safety protocols. “First games, I was just trying to find my rhythm, I was trying to play with the concepts of the team and find my rhythm. “
New York drove 10-0 to start the second quarter, but Minnesota responded with their own run. The Wolves outscored the Knicks 19-5 for the remainder of the half to turn what was once a 17-point deficit into a 44-41 lead in New York at halftime.
The Knicks had another inning in the third quarter to build a sizable lead. New York outscored Minnesota 15-3 early in the third, including a pair of 3-pointers from Kemba Walker.
Wolves had late chances to gain momentum but couldn’t find a timely play.
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“It just didn’t work all the way through when we needed it,” Finch said.
ALWAYS NOT READY
Edwards, Patrick Beverley, Naz Reid and Taurean Prince all approved health and safety protocols ahead of Tuesday’s game, but only Beverley and Reid played.
Although Edwards and Prince were cleared, Finch said they needed a 48-hour ramp-up period. Both players attended individual training sessions on Tuesday, but watched the game in formal attire.
“It’s very complex and every situation is a little different based on their symptoms, levels, etc.,” Finch said.
Beverley showed some rust in her opener, missing all eight shots from the ground.
Knicks: G Wayne Selden Jr. went into health and safety protocols ahead of Tuesday’s game. … G Miles McBride joined the team on Tuesday after being cleared of health and safety protocols.
Wolves of the woods: Finch contested a foul against McDaniels at the end of the second quarter, and the appeal was quashed. … Nathan Knight fouled with 5:48 left in the game. He had eight points and seven rebounds.
Knicks: New York continues its four-game road trip Wednesday in Detroit.
Wolves of the woods: Minnesota begins a three-game road trip on the West Coast with a game Friday in Utah.
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