The New York Knicks look to bounce back from their second home loss in three games as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
New York was the only undefeated team at home until they fell to the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls in the past week.
The Bulls dominated New York in very physical 110-106 loss that saw three players and Knicks head coach Mike Woodson ejected. A total of six technical and 50 personal fouls were called.
Carmelo Anthony was tossed with less than seven minutes left after he earning his second technical foul arguing a foul call on Bulls center Joakim Noah. Noah and Knick center Tyson Chandler had to be separated later and both were also ejected.
Anthony scored 29 points in 37 minutes, but the Knicks fell behind by 25 at the end of the third quarter. Chicago’s Luol Deng netted 29 points with 13 rebounds and two blocks, with guard Marco Belinelli scoring 22 points and going 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
New York’s J.R. Smith was 4-of-6 from 3-point range and ended with 26 points, while point guard Raymond Felton recorded 21 points and two steals.
The Knicks still own the top spot in the East, but Minnesota just toppled the defending Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night.
Forward Kevin Love’s 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, coupled with J.J. Barea’s 14 fourth quarter points led to a Wolves 99-93 victory over first place Oklahoma City. Center Nikola Pekovic also recorded a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wolves are now 13-11, boasting the fifth best rebound rate in the league, which could overwhelm a Knicks frontline ranked 28th in boards per game.
New York will try to solve their recent home woes before they make a three-game West Coast swing over the next six days.
Betting Odds: New York is favored by 8.5 points
Over Under: 199 points
Prediction: The Knicks are favored, but Minnesota is capable of dominating in the front court. New York will need a strong game from Tyson Chandler and rest of the bigs on the bench in order to win. Look for the Knicks to pull out a very close victory.
Predicted Score: New York 95, Minnesota 90