Poor offensive performances from Randle and Barrett doomed the Knicks, as they dropped the final game of their road trip to the Timberwolves.
The Knicks (8-6) saw their three-game winning streak come to an end at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-3) by a score of 117-100. New York got outscored 35-19 in the third quarter after a tightly contested first half. Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle each eclipsed the 20 point mark but didn’t have much help, with Quentin Grimes throwing up a goose egg and R.J. Barrett shooting a subpar four of 13 from the field, per ESPN Stats.
Credit to Chris Finch’s team, which is off to a tremendous start; they lead the Western Conference by percentage points over the Nuggets and Thunder. It was a true team effort from Minnesota in tonight’s victory, with six players scoring in double-figures, led by Anthony Edwards’ 23. The other two parts of the Minny big three: Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert combined for 36 points and 12 rebounds, creating too deep a hole for the Knicks to climb out of.
Minnesota’s length in both the frontcourt and on the perimeter is a big reason why they rank third in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage and fifth in points allowed, per NBA Stats. The Knicks looked a bit overwhelmed at times, and the Wolves had all the defensive momentum.
New York has dropped three of their last four matchups against the Timberwolves dating back to the ’21-’22 season, per Land of Basketball.
Make or Miss League
The Knicks were held to 100 points or less for the fourth time in 14 games this season. They shot an abysmal 34.8% from the field, compared to Minnesota’s 51.2%, per ESPN Stats. Minnesota got a bunch of fortunate bounces, but it was a collective stinker from New York’s offense tonight.
Ball movement was nearly non-existent. Instead, Randle spent a lot of time dribbling with his head down. The All NBA forward has been much better recently, after a brutal start, but reverted back to the player fans have been complaining about; a ball-stopper on offense. Jalen Brunson did his thing with six assists, but it is concerning that no other Knicks starter had more than two assists (Randle had one).
To close out November, the Knicks return home for a pivotal four-game homestand; they have won three straight at The Mecca.
Their next and final matchup of the season against the Timberwolves will be on New Year’s Day.