NBA Game Summary - New York at Minnesota
(Wednesday, November 3rd)
Final Score: Minnesota 99, New York 93
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett scored 28 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves over the New York Knicks, 99-93, in the season-opener for both clubs at the Target Center.
Sam Cassell added 19 points and 11 assists for the Timberwolves, who had the best regular-season record in a strong Western Conference a season ago. Garnett, the reigning league MVP, was held to only eight second-half points, but his defensive presence helped the Timberwolves hold the Knicks without a basket from the field over the final eight minutes on the way to victory.
Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford combined to score 49 points for the Knicks, who will return home for a three-game homestand before embarking upon a tough four-game road trip. Marbury finished with 27 points and 10 assists, while Crawford scored 22 points in his debut with the club. The duo, however, scored only six points -- all by Marbury -- in the fourth quarter.
"Any perimeter-oriented team like them is a tough matchup, but we did hold them to under 40 percent (shooting)," said Minnesota head coach Flip Saunders. "Overall, it was not bad considering that this entire team hadn't played together."
After falling behind 81-76 to end the third quarter, the Knicks opened the fourth on a 9-3 run to tie the game at 84-84 with just 2 1/2 minutes gone. Rookie second-round pick Trevor Ariza capped the run with a three-pointer, but the Knicks would have trouble scoring after that.
Cassell followed with a jumper and the Timberwolves never trailed the rest of the way.
Mike Sweetney's basket with eight minutes left drew the Knicks within 88-86 and that would be the last field goal for New York. The Knicks managed to hit seven free throws down the stretch.
Minnesota overcame eight fourth-quarter turnovers and led by as many as eight points when Cassell hit a free throw with 3:30 remaining.
"We were too quick to pull the trigger and not let our offense work for us," said Knicks head coach Lenny Wilkens on his club's fourth-quarter woes.
Ariza finished with eight points, while Sweetney had 10 for the Knicks. Kurt Thomas had a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.
After the Knicks led 30-25 at the end of one quarter, the Timberwolves came back to lead 58-51 at halftime. With the game tied at 45-45 with three minutes left until the break, Garnett started a 13-6 spurt and Cassell ended it with four straight points that gave the club a seven-point lead.
In the third, Minnesota held a 10-point lead, 69-59, with 4 1/2 minutes elapsed, but the Knicks came storming back. A Crawford three-pointer began an 8-2 burst to draw New York within 71-67. After a Fred Hoiberg three-pointer extended the Timberwolves lead to 74-67, New York ran off nine of the next 11 points to tie the contest at 76-76. An Ariza breakaway dunk ended the run with 1 1/2 minutes left.
Minnesota has won six of seven versus the Knicks.
Crawford shot 10-of-23 from the field, filling in for starting guard Allan Houston, who is nursing a left knee injury that has him starting the season on the injured list.
Wally Szczerbiak ended with 12 points and former Knick Latrell Sprewell had 10 points for the Timberwolves...Starting center Michael Olowokandi had 11 points and eight boards for Minnesota...Troy Hudson, who re-signed with Minnesota in the offseason for six-years, $37 million, scored eight points off the bench. He played in just 29 games last year because of an ankle injury that eventually required season-ending surgery...The Knicks will next host the Celtics in their home-opener on Saturday...Minnesota will be at Denver on Thursday night...New York has lost six of its last eight at Minnesota.
11/04 00:02:33 ET