Knicks can’t stop Kevin Love, T’Wolves in disappointing loss

Kevin Love
Kevin Love was unstoppable for Minnesota Sunday night.
Credit: Getty Images

The Knicks continued their disturbing trend of showing little energy early and falling into a hole, only to fight back in vain, as they dropped a disappointing 109-100 decision to the Timberwolves.

Whether it’s blowing big leads or coming out sluggish and allowing the opponent to jump all over them, the Knicks (1-2) have yet to find their rhythm, and according to head coach Mike Woodson, it’s a rut they need to break out of quickly.

“That was the difference in the game. I thought the second, third and fourth quarter we played pretty good basketball, but you can’t come out on your homecourt and dig a hole,” Woodson said when recounting the discrepancy in points allowed in the first and final quarters. “You can’t spot a team 21 points and then [have] to fight so tough to get back into the game. … It’s tough to swallow, especially when you come into the game holding your first two opponents close to 82 points per game.”

The Knicks’ defense let down their coach as they allowed the upstart Timberwolves (3-0) to feel right at home in scoring 40 first-quarter points and jumping out to a 23-point lead.

New York was led by Carmelo Anthony’s 22 points, but they weren’t enough to offset the balanced attack of the Timberwolves. Minnesota was led by Kevin Love’s 34 points and 15 rebounds, while also receiving 30 points from Kevin Martin.

“This is a good team. They’re well-balanced with Love anchoring everything and Martin having his way. But you can’t have two guys come into your arena and getting 30 each. That can’t happen,” said Woodson. “Defensively, we’ve been pretty good. A lot of the points allowed in the beginning was on turnovers. We need better court balance in making more passes.”

There wasn’t much balance from a Knicks’ offense that only shot 44.9 percent from the field, including 28.1 percent on 3-pointers, and failed to be aggressive by only getting to the line 13 times.

Metta World Peace added 17 points and Andrea Bargnani chipped in with 14 points for the Knicks, including 12 in the first half, to finally give the Garden crowd something to cheer about following his rough Knicks’ debut. But while it was good for the role players to finally shake their early-season doldrums, it was the stars who added little, namely point guard Raymond Felton, who only had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

Woodson said the real factor behind the early deficit and the fact his team just couldn’t clear the hurdle was the reliance on wayward 3-point shots and the team’s inability to get to the free-throw line.

“There were times [they took too many 3s] but I thought the biggest difference was the free-throw attempts [38-13]. We settled too much, especially when guys are flying out to you. Then you should be putting the ball on the floor and get to the hole,” said Woodson. “When we made the run and cut it to less than three, we got 3-point happy and we settled. And then Love made a big 3 and I think that was the biggest of the game.”

Despite getting back to within a one-possession game, it never felt as if the Knicks were ever really in the game. The uphill battle spent all their energy and they eventually ran out of gas.

Tyson Chandler didn’t sound too dismayed, noting all the Knicks’ problems are correctable with more practice and film study.

“That [early deficits] is something that we have to change. We obviously dug ourselves out of a hole that we couldn’t get out of,” said Chandler. “But a lot of it was early turnovers. We were just throwing the ball away and they were turning those into easy layups. Between that and breakdowns in communication, we gave away too many easy buckets. But once we stopped those easy buckets we made it a game and made it easier on ourselves. … It’s more about pride. We need to hold ourselves to a certain standard.”

Knicks notes …

» Love wasn’t the only dominating T-Wolves big man as center Nikola Pekovic added 11 points and 12 rebounds, including nine and 11 in the first half when his brawn was a real factor.

» Point guard Ricky Rubio, once the object of the Knicks brass’ affection when he entered the 2011 NBA Draft, didn’t shoot particularly well (3-of-11) but he managed the tempo expertly and contributed eight points, six rebounds, 10 assists and three steals.

» Anthony got off to a slow start, and it took a near-heroic effort in the fourth quarter to salvage his percentage, as he shot just 2-of-9 in the first half.

» The Knicks had 16 turnovers, down from their average of 18 per game.

Follow Knicks beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…