Recap: Knicks 100, Timberwolves 95

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	Minnesota's Derrick Williams can't hold back Carmelo Anthony, who posted 36 points and nine rebounds.<br /><br /><br />

The Knicks defeated the Timberwolves 100-95 behind a huge 31-18 fourth quarter. Carmelo Anthony carried the Knicks with 36 points on 13-26 shooting. Luke Ridnour led the Wolves with 20 points on 9-15 shooting.

First Quarter:

The Knicks held a 25-23 lead over the Wolves after one. The quarter was tight throughout, as the largest lead held was the Knicks 25-21. Jason Kidd started out better than we has in awhile, as he scored 5 points on a post up and a wide open three-pointer early. The Wolves strategy of not double teaming Carmelo Anthony went horrible. Anthony scored 11 in the quarter, as he got to the hoop with ease and was on with his mid range jumper. The Knicks’ defense was improved, but still only ok. The Wolves still had to many easy opportunities getting to the hoop. Both teams shot 48% in the quarter.

Second Quarter:

In a very up and down second quarter the Knicks  ended the quarter on a nice run to take a 52-45 lead. Amare Stoudemire opened the quarter right with a vicious slam on Greg Stiemsms. Steve Novak then hit a three-pointer and the Knicks went up 31-25. J.R.  Smith really could have gave the Knicks some great momentum on the next possession, but he missed a wide open three. Novak made a nice leaning jumper to put the Knicks up 38-30 before the Wolves made a run and tied it at 38. The Knicks played harder and tightened up their defense at that point and went on an 11-3 run to end the quarter. The Knicks transition defense was terrible. Nobody stopped the ball a few times against Ricky Rubio and JJ Barea. Also, the Wolves really seemed to out hustle the Knicks most of the quarter. Kurt Thomas got minutes because of Chandler’s foul trouble and hit two jumpers. Novak had 7 points in the quarter.  Kidd seemed to defend the pick-and-roll a lot better than Raymond Felton. The Knicks did a great job of protecting the ball in the half, as they only had three turnovers. The Wolves scored 24 points in the paint in the half, so that remains an issue for the Knicks.

Third Quarter:

The Knicks had a brutal third quarter in which they were outscored 31-18 and trailed 76-70 after the third quarter. The Wolves shot 57% from the field, as the Knicks’ brutal defense continued. They started out the quarter on an 11-2 run to take the lead 56-54. Luke Ridnour was 5-5 from the field and scored 12 points in the quarter. The Knicks severely lacked hustle. The starting lineup looked bad again and Iman Shumpert was benched early in the quarter again. Nikola Pekovic was absolutely eating Chandler up inside. Stoudemire displayed some strong post moves again in this quarter for one of their few bright spots.

Fourth Quarter:

The Knicks closed out the final seven minutes on a 24-7 run to get a huge 100-95 come from behind win over the Wolves. Carmelo Anthony was unstoppable and absolutely carried the Knicks to this win by scoring 12 points in the final eight minutes. He tormented Derrick Williams and Dante Cunnigham driving to the basket and with a variety of post moves. The Knicks started the fourth quarter the way they ended the third quarter and it looked eerily similar to the game in Washington on Wednesday. A Williams jumper gave the Wolves an 88-76 lead with about seven minutes remaining and it looked very bleak for the Knicks. They cut that lead to seven on a Smith three-pointer and two Anthony free throws. Then in what I think was the turning point, Rubio missed two free throws and Anthony hit a jumper to cut the lead down to five. The Knicks then really turned up the defensive effort in the quarter. Anthony hit a sweet hook shot to tie the game with 2:47 remaining. Cunningham then got a fortunate bounce on his elbow jumper to get the lead back to the Wolves. Then, Smith got in the lane and threw up a beautiful alley-oop to Chandler to tie the game back up. With the game tied at 95 and 28 seconds remaining, Ridnour drove the lane into four Knicks and got his shot blocked by Felton. Smith picked up the loose ball and got an easy and-one layup to put the Knicks up for good. Chandler ended the game with an exclamation point block on Rubio.

Notes:

- A win is a win, but that is one of the ugliest wins you will see all season.

- This game was a prime example of why you can’t win in the NBA without a superstar.

- Carmelo Anthony bailed out the Knicks’ poor effort and defense all night.

- Guarding Anthony one on one with Derrick Williams or Dante Cunningham is not a good plan

- Iman Shumpert looks lost on offense and defense.

- A change to the starting lineup should be made. The starts to the first and third quarters lately has been enough evidence that the current lineup doesn’t work. With Amare Stoudemire providing great scoring off the bench it might be time to insert J.R. Smith into the starting lineup over Shumpert.

-  The fact that the Knicks continued to go over screens against Rubio was truly baffling.

- The transition defense was bad again. The Wolves just flat out beat the Knicks up the floor multiple times.

- It feels like Stoudemire will score every time he touches the ball now. They really should feature him more than they are.

- It seems like Woodson likes Chandler having to pick up Rubio and Pekovic posting up Felton.

- Congratulations to Jason Kidd on 12,000 assists.

- Should be a fun one on Sunday vs. the Clippers