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Wolves return home to host struggling Knicks
(SportsNetwork.com) - There's still enough time for either the New York Knicks or Minnesota Timberwolves to make a run toward the playoffs.
Both teams go head-to-head Wednesday night from the Target Center.
The Timberwolves are 4 1/2 games off a playoff spot in the West with 23 games to play, while the Knicks sit 6 1/2 games out of a postseason berth and have 21 contests remaining on the slate.
New York, though, is quickly fading from the picture with seven straight losses and a miserable 2-13 mark since February. The Knicks are coming off Monday's 95-85 loss at Detroit, as Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire scored 28 and 22 points, respectively, in defeat.
Anthony has been one of the few bright spots on this team and is averaging 32.0 ppg in his last 19 games. With free agency looming for Anthony, who is second in the NBA with 28.0 ppg, the Knicks may not have the sharpshooter next season.
J.R. Smith had 16 points and Tyson Chandler came down with 18 rebounds in the loss for the Knicks, who shot just 38.6 percent from the field and haven't made at least 40 percent of their shots in three of the last four games. Chandler is averaging 15.6 rebounds over his last eight games.
"We went kind of flat in that third quarter," said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson, whose team was outscored 30-20 in the frame and blew a 14-point advantage in the second quarter.
The Knicks lost at Chicago on Sunday to open this three-game trek.
New York has dropped five straight and 10 of 11 road games, and sports a disappointing 9-20 ledger away from Madison Square Garden. The Knicks will host Utah Friday night.
Minnesota is back home for four straight games versus New York, Detroit, Toronto and Milwaukee, and has won two in a row at the Target Center.
The Timberwolves have a 16-11 home record this season and went 4-1 on its western trip, which culminated with Monday's 132-128 triumph at Denver. Kevin Love's 33 points and season-high 19 rebounds were enough to pace the Wolves, who had an 18-point lead in the second quarter and got 22 points from Kevin Martin in his second game back from a thumb issue.
Martin made 16-of-17 free throws for a Wolves team that sank 52-of-64 from the charity stripe. Corey Brewer, Nikola Pekovic and J.J. Barea each netted 16 points in the win.
"That had to have been some kind of record," Love said of the free throws. "That's a lot of free throws."
The 52 made free throws marked an NBA season-high and were the most made since Phoenix connected for 61 in an overtime game against Utah on April 9, 1990.
Minnesota, winners in three straight and six of seven games, defeated New York 109-100 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 3 behind Love's 34 points and 15 rebounds. Martin scored 30 points and Anthony countered with 22 and 17 rebounds.
New York had won four in a row against the Wolves until the November loss.
03/05 09:57:41 ET
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