The less said about this game the better. The Knicks took the lazy Sunday afternoon motif to heart and came out yesterday sans defense and any offense fluidity, giving up an inexcusable 40 points in the first 12 minutes and going down by as many as 23 points in the first half. The Wolves lead a balanced inside-outside attack helmed by Ricky Rubio’s ball movement (10 assists), Kevin Martin’s shooting (30 points, 5-5 from downtown), and the formidable frontcourt of Kevin Love (34 points, 15 rebounds) and Nikola Pekovic (11 points, 12 rebounds).
Meanwhile, the Knicks struggled mightily on both ends of the court. The shooting was wretched (Melo 8-21 for 22 points, Hardaway Jr. 3-12, 6 points). and the Wolves were able to repeatedly beat the Knicks down the floor for transition layups off long passes. Iman Shumpert was mentally out of sorts due to picking up early fouls and had way too many lapses with his help and perimeter defense.
The Knicks made a go of it in the second half and got as close as two points with 4:49 remaining. Then the offense sputtered to only one field goal over the remainder of the game and the Wolves executed on their end to keep a comeback out of reach.
The Knicks get the chance to redeem themselves tomorrow before their fans when they face the Bobcats.