For the first time in 12 years the Minnesota Timberwolves are at 3-0 after they beat the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden 109-100.
Kevin Love had 34 points, 15 rebounds and five assists while Kevin Martin scored 30 points and had three rebounds and two assists.
Minnesota took a huge lead after a 40-point first quarter, then pulled away after the Knicks caught up and made it a two point game in the closing minutes.
The Wolves had 38 points in the first quarter of its opener and made 14 of 21 shots in the opening 12 minutes tonight.
Leading by four, they closed the period with a 23-6 run, and it really couldn’t have been much easier. They stayed ahead of the Knicks’ defense for fast-break layups, and were getting to the line— Love had a four-point possession after Kenyon Martin fouled him on a 3-pointer, then gave an extra shove for a technical foul.
The Timberwolves averaged an outstanding 37.3 points in the first quarter. They are healthy again after an injury plagued 2012-13 and are starting to show an early promise of a team that can finally contend for their first playoff run since 2004.
The Knicks Carmelo Anthony had 22 points and 17 rebounds. They have dropped two straight after their season-opening victory and even drew some loud boos from the hometown crowd in the first half in what appeared to be a lack of effort on the defense. Anthony shot just 8 of 21. Metta World Peace added 17 points.
But by the time the Knicks found their offense, it was far too late.
The Wolves were 29 of 38 from the free throw line after coming into the game leading the NBA with 27 makes per game. Many times the Knicks lost whatever momentum they had when they sent a Minnesota player to the line.
The Wolves got the first basket of the second half and took a 64-49 lead into halftime. Tyson Chandler’s free throws opened the scoring in the second half, but Minnesota quickly ran off seven straight to re-open a 20-point lead on Martin’s 3-pointer with 10:04 remaining in the quarter.
The Knicks finally sustained a solid run in the fourth quarter by hitting consecutive 3-pointers by Anthony and Iman Shumpert capping a 17-5 surge that cut it the lead to 100-98 with 4:49 remaining. But Martin made a free throw on a technical foul, then hit a 3-pointer, and Love followed with a jumper to push the lead to 106-98 with 3:19 to play.
The Wolves play next on Monday November 4th at 7:00 PM against the Cavaliers.