Take and Hit the 3. Knicks Rip Wolves. NY 120 Minnesota 107

Obi Toppin hits another 3

The Knicks used a strong 2nd quarter to jump out to a 20+ point lead and cruise to the 120-107 win in Minnesota. The two teams played evenly in the 2nd half, but the Wolves were never able to get closer than 13 points behind.

The game started out as a 3-point shooting contest — and then in the 2nd quarter the Knicks laid down a D against Minnesota’s 3’s, and kept hitting theirs — while running the court with passing and drives as well — to thoroughly outplay the Wolves.

Julius Randle was in All Star form — making a career-high 8 three-pointers (8-13 from 3) for 31 points. Afterwards, when asked what the Knicks strategy coming into the game was, Randle responded: “Shoot the 3. In our last game, Boston made 27 three’s; we took 27 three’s. If you’re shooting as many 3’s as your opponent is making, it’s impossible to win.”

NY took 48 three’s — going 19-48 for a .396 percentage. Minnesota was 11-41 for a .268 percentage. The Knicks also hit their free throws — they were 23-25 from the line; Minny did too; they were 20-24.

NY improves to 5-5; Minny drops to 5-6.


1. Randle Playing Like All Star

Julius Randle continues to play like an All Star — providing elite scoring — hitting tough shots when the team needs them, rebounding, and playing team ball.

With Minnesota having pulled to within 13 and 8:40 left in the game, Randle came off the bench and immediately hit a stutter-step, step-back 3 that was a thing of beauty and put the Knicks back up by 16, at 108-92 — dousing the Wolves comeback hopes.

Randle finished 9-15 from the floor (8-13 from 3, 5-6 in free throws) for 31 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and a +4.. It was the 4th time he’s led the team in scoring this season. He scored 29 the other night vs Boston.

Afterwards, Randle was asked what was the biggest change he’s made coming into this season: “Efficiency. Trying to be efficient in everything I do,” Randle answered. “Making quick decisions; be efficient. Honestly just having fun. Put a smile on your face. All about the team. Playing for the team and having fun.”

2. Brunson Hits Key Shots to Keep Minny at Bay

Jalen Brunson played like an All Star as well. Every time Minnesota got within hailing distance in the 4th quarter, there was Brunson taking it to the lane for another crafty, tough, efficient basket.

Brunson had 23 points on 9-14 shooting (2-5 from 3, 3-3 in free throws), 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and a +5. Like Randle, Brunson has also led the team in scoring in 4 games this year.

3. Barrett Tough & Efficient All Night

And RJ Barrett had another strong, efficient game. He finished with 22 points on 7-18 from the floor (missing his last few shots), 3-7 from 3, 5-6 in free throws, with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a +4.

Cam Reddish started and played well alongside former Duke teammate RJ Barrett. Reddish played excellent defense to start the game, and hit a few jumpers; he finished with 26 minutes and 8 points.

4. Toppin and the 2nd Team Stars

Obi Toppin was tremendous off the bench, and a big part of the Knicks’ 2nd team crushing the Wolves in the 2nd quarter. He is hitting his 3 with efficiency — and has even added a deadly falling-back 3 to his repertoire.

Toppin had 15 points on 4-10 shooting (3-8 from 3, 4-4 in free throws) and a +13 in 26 minutes.

Immanuel Quickley teamed with Obi to bring the Knicks Defensive energy in the 2nd and at the end of the 3rd quarters. Quickley had a +15 — he was 3-6 from the floor for 9 points.

  • Evan Fournier played well in 13 minutes — a +15.
  • Derrick Rose shot poorly (1-10) but still had a +11 as he was on the court with the 2nd team.
  • Isaiah Hartenstein had 4 points and 6 rebounds and was on the court in the 2nd when the 2nd team got out to the big lead.

5. Sims vs Towns

With Mitchell Robinson out with a bruised knee, Jericho Sims started at center against Karl-Anthony Towns. Sims is from Minnesota; Towns from the NY area.

Sims played well enough against Towns in 17 minutes. Isaiah Hartenstein played 21 minutes against Towns and provided a big body against him but could not stop him — Towns rolled to the basket for buckets against Hartenstein.

Towns had his usual strong game: 25 pts, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals — but he did not kill NY.

On the other side of the court, Towns does not provide much interior defense — the reason why Minnesota made a big trade for Rudy Gobert in the off season. But Gobert is out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury that was ruled a bone bruise. Minnesota traded a ton for Gobert — 4 unprotected 1st-round draft picks along with Malik BeasleyPatrick BeverleyLeandro BolmaroWalker Kessler, and Jarred Vanderbilt.

The Boxscore



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