Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks put their toughness on full display Friday night, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-94 on the strength of a fourth-quarter flurry.
After a tightly-contested first half, the Timberwolves outscored the visiting Knicks 31-18 in the third quarter to take a ton of momentum and a six-point lead into the fourth quarter. This is where many teams would have packed it in and called it a night, but not Anthony and the Knicks.
The Knicks tightened up the defense in the final frame and rode the hot hand of Anthony to a 30-18 advantage on the scoreboard to close out the six-point victory.
Ultimately, it was the Timberwolves' inability to buy a basket from three-point land that would be the difference. Minnesota shot a pitiful 1-of-13 from distance as a team including an 0-of-6 performance from forward Derrick Williams.
The Timberwolves got strong performances from Ricky Rubio (18 points, 11 assists) and Nikola Pekovic (16 points, 11 rebounds), but couldn't shake the poor shooting effort.
The Knicks also got a notable effort from Amar'e Stoudemire. He scored 11 points with five rebounds in just 21 minutes on 5-of-7 shooting.
Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony
In a tight game, the team with the best player on the floor has the advantage. That player was Anthony and he was a huge reason that the Knicks pulled off the win on the road.
The forward was a deadly 13-of-26 from the field and put up 36 of his team's 100 points. Oh yeah, he led the team in rebounding with nine boards for good measure.
Anthony is one of the league's biggest stars and it's nights like these that he reminds folks why. This was a clutch performance, and the Knicks probably don't win this game without him going off.
What's Next for the Knicks?
The 32-16 Knicks will look to continue their dominance in a home game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
What's Next for the Timberwolves?
The Timberwolves will look to put this disappointing performance behind them when they travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on Sunday.