NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 23rd (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (13-11) at New York Knicks (19-7), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks will try to close a six-game homestand on a high note when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves for Sunday's clash at Madison Square Garden.
Although the Knicks are 3-2 during their residency they've lost two of their last three outings and were dealt a setback Friday against Chicago. Despite the two recent home losses, New York still boasts a superb 11-2 record as the host this season.
Friday's 110-106 loss to the Bulls was a physical game that featured a combined 50 personal fouls, nine technicals and four fourth-quarter ejections, Two of the ejections came when Chicago's Joakim Noah and New York's Tyson Chandler nearly came to blows.
In addition to Noah and Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Knicks head coach Mike Woodson were also tossed from the game in the fourth quarter. Anthony and Woodson each picked up a second technical for arguing with the officials before Chandler and Noah got into an altercation.
Anthony scored a game-high 29 points for New York and J.R. Smith followed with 26 points and 10 rebounds.
"They played well," said Chandler. "They took us out of some things, we didn't get to the line much, which didn't help, and then we also missed some shots."
The Knicks trailed the contest 83-61 after three quarters but were able to make a game of it before running out of time.
On the injury front, Rasheed Wallace has sat out the last four games with a sore left foot and the veteran forward is expected to miss another contest for the Knicks on Sunday.
The Timberwolves will try to build off an impressive win on Sunday after snapping Oklahoma City's 12-game winning streak on Thursday. Minnesota used a fourth-quarter scoring barrage from J.J. Barea and a solid all-around effort from Kevin Love to post a 99-93 win over the visiting Thunder.
The victory snapped a two-game slide and gave Minnesota its fifth win in seven outings.
The Timberwolves, losers of 12 straight against their Northwest Division rivals coming in, had allowed five consecutive opponents to score over 100 points, but held the NBA's highest scoring team to 40 percent shooting.
Barea erupted for 14 points in the final frame, while Love added 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for Minnesota. Nikola Pekovic chipped in 24 points and 10 boards in the unlikely victory.
"We just needed a little run from somebody, and I just got in a good rhythm and stayed aggressive," Barea said.
Minnesota is 5-8 as the road team this season and has lost its last two games away from Minneapolis.
New York has claimed two straight and four of the last six meetings with the Timberwolves. Minnesota has lost two in a row and three of its previous four games at MSG.
12/23 10:30:35 ET