Towns ‘3-point game helps the Wolves’ Edge Knicks 112-110 – WCCO

NEW YORK (AP) – This was always Jacqueline Cruz-Towns’ favorite game when her family could gather to watch her son play the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.

She died of complications related to COVID-19 in April 2020, but Karl-Anthony Towns’ father, sister and other friends and family were in the arena Tuesday night.

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He gave them a good memory – and the Minnesota Timberwolves a great victory.

Towns converted a clear three-point game with 29 seconds left, and the Timberwolves edged the Knicks 112-110.

Towns, who grew up nearby in New Jersey, looked up at the roof on his first trip to the free throw line, a way to remember his mother.

His last trip to the line ended up winning the game.

“I told my dad that everyone would get a chance to have their Madison Square Garden moment, and I felt like it was for me tonight. It was the biggest moment I’ve had at MSG,” Towns said. “Great audience, great atmosphere, great energy, and I got to silence everyone so it makes it even better.”

The Knicks got a strong fight from Kemba Walker in his return from nine games absent with a sore left knee and nurtured a lead for most of the fourth quarter.

But the Timberwolves gathered and held on so tight when Alec Burks missed a 3-pointer that would have won it for New York.

“I would definitely win, but we have to keep sharpening it,” Walker said. “This league is tough. It’s hard to win matches in this league.”

Anthony Edwards scored 21 points and the Towns had 20 for the Wolves, who won for the sixth time in eight games to equalize their record to 22-22. D’Angelo Russell added 17 points.

D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaylen Nowell (Credit: Sarah Stier / Getty Images)

Evan Fournier scored 27 points and Julius Randle had 21 for the Knicks, who lost for the second day in a row and dived back below 0.500 at 22-23. Walker scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half.

“It was a hard fought game and it was not done down the stretch,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

The Knicks protected the one-point lead as Walker made 3-points with 5:27 and 4:36 left, and his third move made it 107-102 with 3:41 left.
But the Wolves did not allow a new basket and forced a few large turnovers.

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“I think that was the key to turning it around,” Wolves coach Chris Finch said. “We got a couple stolen right there and that led us to easy buckets.”

Minnesota got the ball back to the crucial ball possession after an instant replay overturned a call and ruled the ball off the field from the Knicks with 48 seconds left. The Towns made a strong move and scored while being committed by Randle, making it 111-109.

Randle was fouled at the other end, but made only one free throw, leaving Minnesota ahead with one. Patrick Beverley made a free kick with 19 seconds left and that was it for the score.

Towns scored 11 points in the first quarter, helping Minnesota take a 30-23 lead. The Wolves squeezed their lead to 12 in the second quarter before leading 61-51 at the break.

The Knicks scored 40 points in the third and took a 91-86 lead to the fourth.


Timberwolves: Jaylen Norwell scored 14 points. … The Wolves, who lead the NBA in forced turnover, forced the Knicks to 18.

Knicks: Both centers in New York, Mitchell Robinson and Taj Gibson, struck out. A third center, Nerlens Noel, remains out with a sore left knee. … RJ Barrett had 17 points.


With Walker’s return and rookie Quentin Grimes getting regular rotation minutes lately, the Knicks have plenty of players battling for backcour minutes. Thibodeau said it would be sorted out step by step.

“You earn your minutes here with what you do in practice, and then you have to wait for your opportunity,” he said. “When your opportunity comes, be ready to go. But as I mentioned to you before, there are a limited number of minutes. There are 240 minutes. So the guys who perform well and get the job done, they’re in there.”


Timberwolves: Visit Atlanta on Wednesday.

Knicks: Host New Orleans on Thursday.

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