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(Friday, February 8th)
Final Score: New York 100, Minnesota 94
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony brought the Knicks back in the fourth and Tyson Chandler protected the lead late to lift New York to a 100-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
Anthony scored 12 of his 36 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes to help the Knicks rally from an 11-point fourth quarter deficit. Chandler then made two key blocks in the last 30 seconds to defend the advantage and give New York its fourth straight win over Minnesota.
J.R. Smith followed with 15 points and Raymond Felton, Amare Stoudemire and Steve Novak each contributed 11 in the Knicks' sixth victory in seven games.
Luke Ridnour poured in 20 points and Ricky Rubio had a third consecutive game with double-digit assists, posting 11 to go with 18 points, but the Timberwolves inevitably fell for the ninth time in 10 tries.
Derrick Williams scored 19 points and Nikola Pekovic tallied 16 points with 11 rebounds in the setback.
Had it not been for Chandler, Anthony's strong fourth quarter may have went for naught when he air-balled a long triple with the Knicks up by one with 33.1 seconds left.
But when Ridnour went to basket on the ensuing possession to try and put the Timberwolves ahead, he was rejected by Chandler. His swat then sparked a fast break opportunity for Smith, who drew a three-point play after taking a foul on his made layup.
With the Knicks up 98-94, Chandler then made the game-clinching block on Rubio's layup attempt to seal the win.
When Minnesota took an 87-76 lead with 7:16 remaining, Anthony became a problem the Wolves could not handle, as he went on to score 10 of the Knicks' next 12 points following a triple from Smith, with his running hook putting New York ahead 91-90.
"We dug a hole, but we just kept fighting," Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said. "Down the stretch our defense kicked in and we made the plays necessary to secure a win."
Despite trailing at the break, 52-45, the Wolves rallied late in the third to grab the advantage.
They scored 10 straight points, starting with Ridnour's running jumper with 2:36 left in the session and ending with Williams' emphatic two-handed jam after stealing the ball from Felton in the early moments of the fourth.
Williams then scored the next three field goals for Minnesota, with his 17- footer putting the Wolves ahead by 11 points.
"We did a good job of coming back and taking the lead, but 'Melo is one of the best players in the world," Williams said. "They're going to keep giving him the ball every time in the fourth, and he did a good job tonight."
Chandler also finished with five points and seven rebounds ... Minnesota's Andrei Kirilenko missed his second consecutive game with a strained right quadriceps ... The Timberwolves shot just 1-for-13 from 3-point range, while New York made 8-for-26 from long distance ... There were 18 lead changes and nine ties during the contest.
02/09 00:39:18 ET
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