Written by William Lee
New York finally ended their losing streak, and their hero ironically was Raymond Felton, whom has recently been vilified by New York papers and tabloid for his illegal possession of firearms. And rightfully so, especially if the allegations of him pointing the gun at his wife are true, but for now, that’s all it is, just allegations, and Felton will have his date in court soon enough. For one night though Felton was the hero.
Raymond Felton had his best game, possibly all year, but definitely his best game since his arrest. Felton was great at getting into the paint and scoring, as well as facilitating the offense Wednesday night. Felton had the best +/- of any player with a +21 scoring18 points and handing out 8 assists, along with four steals. Felton made crucial plays in the fourth quarter, holding off any potential Minnesota comeback.
Felton scored seven points and dished out three assist in the fourth quarter. The Timberwolves made a 7-0 to cut the Knicks’ lead into single figure 107-99 with 2:43 remaining in the game. After a quick timeout, Felton would hit a clutch floater to push the Knicks’ lead back up to double digits. Then Felton would put a cap on his fantastic night by hitting a three that essentially sealed the game with 1:08 remaining, making the score 114-101. New York would go on to defeat Minnesota 118-106.
New York led wire to wire Wednesday night, jumping on the Timberwolves early, opening the game on a 9-0 run, capped by an Carmelo Anthony steal and dunk. The Knicks scored a field goal on their first eight possessions of the game, leading 19-7 with 8:33 left in the first quarter. New York would lead by 38-24 by the end of the first quarter, Minnesota’s starting point guard, Ricky Rubio was way too loose with his ball handling, committing four of the five Timberwolves’ turnovers in the first period.
J.J. Barea was inserted into the game for the struggling Rubio, and he gave Minnesota’s offense life. With Barea running the point for majority of the second quarter, Timberwolves were able to get back into the game on 54.2% shooting for the period. Barea was orchestrating the offense better than Rubio collecting five points and five assist by halftime. In the first quarter Minnesota was struggling mightily, shooting 35% and committing five turnovers while Rubio ran the point guard position.
Ricky Rubio would redeem himself in the third quarter, scoring nine of his eleven points in the period. Rubio finished the game with two assist shy of a double-double. The Timberwolves would cut the lead down to as much as a point game, outscoring the Knicks in the third quarter 31-22.
New York entered the fourth quarter clinging to a two point lead. That tension would drastically and quickly change, as the Knicks opened up the fourth quarter on a 15-2 run to give New York a 103-88 edge. New York played suffocating defense, as Minnesota was held to one field goal for almost half of the fourth quarter. Minnesota would go on a quick 7-0 run, and then enters Raymond Felton’s heroics.
New York tonight was able to keep up with the third highest paced team in the league, and the fourth best offensive team in the league scoring 106.2 points per game. All the Knicks’ starters were in double figures for the first time all year. Tyson Chandler had himself a great game collecting 15 points and 14 rebounds, and did a great job of defending Kevin Love. Love who is the fourth leading scorer in the Association at 26.6 points per game, was held in check Wednesday night, scoring only 19 points, going 6 for 17 from the field. Love was content on heisting it away from beyond the arc, going 3/10 from downtown. For the most part the Knicks did a good job of coming out to contest his shot, majority of the time being Tyson Chandler. Love also was held to only eight rebounds, who entered the game with 13 straight double-doubles, Chandler and the Knicks ended that streak as well for him Wednesday night.