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Knicks fall to Timberwolves for worst skid of the season

Posted by centered2 on December 27, 2008

Knicks shoot 39% from the field and turn the ball over 15 times in the home loss.

Knicks shoot 39% from the field and turn the ball over 15 times in the home loss.

With nine stitches on the left side of his head and a bandage partially covering his left eye after taking an elbow in the first half, Chris Duhon might have been the luckiest guy at the Garden Friday night: he didn’t have to cover his eyes as the Knicks suffered an embarrassing 120-107 loss to the Timberwolves.

Maybe it’s something about the day after holidays – Minnesota’s last win had come in Oklahoma City on Nov. 28, the day after Thanksgiving. The Timberwolves had come to the Garden losers of 13 in a row.

More likely, though, it was the Knicks’ defense, which allowed the Wolves to shoot 51% from the floor, including 13-for-24 from 3-point range. Rashad McCants led Minnesota with 23 points, while Al Jefferson had 21 and Coney Island product Sebastian Telfair scored 20 in a measure of family revenge for his cousin, the exiled Stephon Marbury.

Al Harrington scores 26 points in the losing effort.

Al Harrington scores 26 points in the losing effort.

“These are games you have to win or need to win,” Mike D’Antoni said. “We’re slipping a little bit, a little too far below .500. … We need to play better.”

 

The Knicks have lost a season-high five in a row to fall to 11-17, but to play better, they must first get better. On the night Jared Jeffries returned from a setback in his recovery from a broken leg to play 33 minutes, Quentin Richardson had to sit out with a sprained ankle he suffered at practice on Thursday.

Duhon, meanwhile, suffered a cut on the side of his head and lay prone on the Garden floor next to a puddle of blood after colliding with McCants’ elbow late in the first half. But he was on the floor at the start of the second, and finished with six points and five assists.

Al Harrington and Nate Robinson scored 26 points apiece, but on a combined 19-for-43 shooting performance. Robinson, who started in place of Richardson, made it a seven-point game with just over five minutes remaining, driving the lane, drawing contact and hitting the ensuing foul shot.

But Minnesota’s lead was too big to overcome, and Telfair was part of the reason why.

Telfair, who starred at the Garden during his high school days, guiding Lincoln to city championships, gave the Timberwolves a 19-point lead when he sank one of two foul shots with a minute and a half left in the third quarter. Minnesota took its largest lead of the night the next time down the floor on a three-pointer by McCants that made it 92-70.

Wilson Chandler scored 19 points and Tim Thomas had 15 while David Lee added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks. But having five scorers in double figures couldn’t mask a 39% shooting performance – or the fact that the Knicks had as many turnovers (15) as assists.

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