Wolves beat Knicks, snap five-game losing skid


Well, I certainly didn’t see that coming.

Our Wolves beat the New York Knicks tonight by the final score of 115-99, and they did it in a fairly convincing fashion. For the first time since Ricky Rubio went down with injury they actually looked like a professional basketball team.

Coming into the game the Knicks were 3-9 on the season, so on paper I knew we had a shot, but after giving up more than 130 points in each of the last two blow outs against New Orleans and Dallas, I didn’t think the Timberwolves had it in them to keep an opponent under triple-digits.

Surprise, surprise.

Kevin Martin led the way with 37 points on 14-20 from the floor, including seven made three pointers. The Wolves were in control for much of the game, but when the Knicks made their inevitable run in the third and cut the 24 point lead down to 15, Martin was there with a big three pointer to stop New York’s momentum.

In the fourth the Knicks came out on 9-2 run and dwindled the lead to 13, and once again Martin had the answer. His steady shooting kept the Knicks from ever truly getting back into the ball game.

The Knicks did get production out of star players Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire, as Carmelo finished the game with 20 and Amare had 19. Unfortunately for the Knicks most of the duo’s points came in the first half. In fact, of their 39 combined points, they only scored 4 in the final 24 minutes. Without a steady scoring threat, the Knicks were unable to keep it close.

As a Wolves fan, it would be stupid to take too much away from this singular victory. These were two struggling teams, and the home team ended up winning. On the other hand, this game didn’t win itself, meaning the Wolves had to have done something right. Kevin Martin didn’t win this completely by himself.

I’m looking at you, Mo Williams.

The veteran, Williams, started tonight instead of Zach LaVine, and his presence with the starting unit had a profound impact on the flow and continuity in our half-court offense. Williams finished the game with 14 points and 13 assists, and he played a huge part in the Wolves’ improved ball movement. After tonight’s performance, I’d be surprised if Mo doesn’t get the starting nod moving forward.

The Wolves move to 3-7 on the season. They have the next three at home to try to improve upon that mark, but with the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs coming to town on Friday, they’ll definitely have their work cut out if they want to string together any kind of winning streak.

Quick Takes

  • Muhammad makes his first NBA start. After sitting on the bench for much of last season, many fans doubted this day would ever come. It’s clear, however, that the 2012 High School Player of the Year has put in the work. He didn’t shoot the ball well tonight, but Bazzy’s energy was contagious out there. He hustled his way to 17 points and 8 rebounds, and in doing so made a statement that he wouldn’t mind starting again someday.
  • Gorgui handling/fumbling the ball in the open court. Oh Gorgui, sweet Gorgui. Twice during the third quarter Mr. Dieng thought he’d show off his point guard skills by taking the ball up the court on the break. The first attempt was going well until he tried to finish the coast-to-coast bucket with a layup that missed by several feet. And on the second attempt he got a few feet up the court before double-dribbling in a very obvious fashion. Gotta love the creativity, but hopefully next time Gorgui will get the ball to somebody with better credentials…
  • Wiggins with an uneven performance. Andrew scored all 12 of his points in the 2nd quarter. Don’t get me wrong, he looked very good in that 12 minute segment, but outside of that stretch he really struggled. The growing pains are to be expected, though, and we’ll probably see a few more 4-13 shooting, five-turnover nights while Wiggins figures out how to sustain his production throughout the course of a 48 minute basketball game.

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