Timberwolves at Knicks
The New York Knicks were unbeatable in their first 10 home games of the season, but they have shown a sudden vulnerability by dropping two of the last three at Madison Square Garden. New York should find it easier to get back on track on their home floor Sunday afternoon, when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves, who will be without star forward Kevin Love. The Knicks absorbed an ugly 110-106 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday, a game in which they trailed by as many as 25 points and saw the ejections of Carmelo Anthony along with Tyson Chandler and coach Mike Woodson.
The Timberwolves are coming off perhaps their best performance of the season in snapping the Oklahoma City Thunder's 12-game winning streak with a 99-93 victory on Thursday. Love had 28 points and 11 rebounds - his third straight double-double - but was poked in the eye late in the contest and did not accompany the team to New York. Love has torched the Knicks in the last three matchups, averaging 32 points and 22.3 rebounds.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, WFTC (Minnesota), MSG (New York)
ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (13-11): Minnesota has won seven of its last 10, but two of the losses came at Orlando and Miami earlier in the week, when the Timberwolves wilted in the second half of both games. Point guard Ricky Rubio has had a minimal impact in three appearances since returning from major knee surgery. He was scoreless in his last two games and is shooting 1-for-10 from the floor, but coach Rick Adelman said the Spaniard has not had any setbacks and could be seeing an uptick in playing time.
ABOUT THE KNICKS (19-7): New York's two home defeats in the past week were against Houston and Chicago - two clubs that have beaten the Knicks twice. Eerie similarities emerged in both losses as New York gave up tons of points (109 and 110, respectively), fell into huge first-half holes and struggled on the perimeter. The Knicks lead the league with an average of 11.7 3-pointers made, but they were 8-of-26 against the Bulls and 9-of-31 versus Houston. Steve Novak, who's averaging 2.2 3-pointers, scored a combined three points in both games.
1. Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire has been ruled out for Sunday but could make his season debut on the upcoming three-game road trip.
2. Minnesota swingman Brandon Roy practiced fully Saturday for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Nov. 19. He's appeared in only five games and hasn't played since Nov. 9.
3. Knicks F Rasheed Wallace, who has missed the last four games, has been listed as day-to-day with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Knicks 106, Timberwolves 91.