WHAT IT MEANS: It wasn't pretty, but the Knicks escaped the Garden floor with a win on Sunday night thanks to clutch fourth-quarter play from Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony had missed 12 of his 17 shots through three quarters, but came through when it counted for New York in its win over Minnesota.
He drilled a 3-pointer with 1:53 to play to pull the Knicks within one and then converted a layup and subsequent free throw to give the Knicks a two-point lead -- their first since 53 seconds into the 1st quarter -- with 1:13 to play. The Knicks (20-7) trailed by 11 with seven minutes to go in the third quarter.
Anthony finished with 33 points on 10-for-25 shooting and seven rebounds. He had 19 in the fourth.
PEK-ING ORDER: The Timberwolves were without Kevin Love due to eye injury. That was believed to be a big break for the Knicks because Love averaged 32 points and 22 boards in his last three games against the Knicks.
But Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic picked up the slack. Pekovic finished with 21 points and 17 rebounds -- six on the offensive end.
Pekovic's dominance against New York is nothing new. He had 21 points and 13 rebounds against the Knicks in Minnesota last season.
The Timberwolves outrebounded New York by 12.
THREES: The Knicks struggled from beyond the arc through the first three quarters, going 5-for-24 from beyond the arc. But they hit clutch threes when they needed them most.
The fifth make was a Steve Novak three at the end of the third that cut the Minnesota lead to two heading into the fourth. Anthony hit an open three thanks to a feed from J.R. Smith to pull the Knicks within one point with under two minutes to go.
New York finished 6-for-26 from behind the arc.
J.R. SMITH: Smith had a tremendous sequence in the second quarter. He threw down a right-handed dunk on Greg Stiemsma. He then stole the ball and finished with a reverse layup. He grabbed a rebound and then, on the Knicks' next possession, he found Chandler for an alleyoop
Smith lost his cool midway through the fourth though. He was charged with an offensive foul then hit with a technical for rolling the ball after the call.
Smith finished with 19 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers and a healthy Steve Nash on Christmas Day.
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