The New York Knicks needed a late surge led by Carmelo Anthony, but they were still able to hold off an impressive effort from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 94-91 win.
Playing without star power forward Kevin Love, the Timberwolves nearly pulled off an impressive victory at Madison Square Garden.
With Love’s absence leaving Minnesota with a diminished post presence, center Nikola Pekovic stepped up and delivered 21 points and 17 rebounds.
He was one of five Timberwolves who scored in double figures, and also was not the only member of his team with a double-double. Dante Cunningham’s 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench significantly aided the Wolves’ victorious effort.
But an admirable team effort was not enough to hold off Anthony. The superstar forward scored the Knicks’ last 12 points to finish with a game-high 33 points—19 of which came in the final period.
Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton all had double-digit scoring performances for New York, which received just 11 points from the other five players who saw the floor.
Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony, F, New York Knicks
This is the type of performance that voters will look at when choosing this season’s MVP.
Scoring 33 points is not a noteworthy accomplishment for Anthony at this point in his career, but this game proved that he is a different player this season.
He has taken on a leadership role with the Knicks, played well on both ends of the floor and become a lethal closer. His huge scoring output in the fourth quarter saved the team from losing this game.
There is no doubt that Anthony was the best player on the floor in this game, and he has arguably been the best player in the NBA up to point in the year.
What’s Next for Knicks?
The Knicks improved to 20-7 and will pack up for a cross-country trip to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in a Christmas Day showdown at the Staples Center.
What’s Next for Timberwolves?
Minnesota dropped to 13-12 and will return home for a matchup against the Houston Rockets on December 26.