Today: 21.06.2018
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20.06.2018

Tim Hardaway Jr.’s return can’t save Knicks from another road ‘L’.

MINNEAPOLIS — Twenty five minutes of Tim Hardaway Jr. wasn’t enough to lift the Knicks out of their road doldrums. Hardaway made his long-anticipated return Friday, coming off the bench for 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting, but Kristaps Porzingis was still absent as the Knicks lost 118-108 to the Timberwolves at Target Center. Hardaway missed...
Time: 23:46     Date: 12.01.2018
Last US Sport News: Tim Hardaway Jr.’s return can’t save Knicks from another road ‘L’. NY Post 24 - US News

Hardaway made his long-anticipated return Friday, coming off the bench for 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting, but Kristaps Porzingis was still absent as the Knicks lost 118-108 to the Timberwolves at Target Center. Hardaway missed his final shot — a straightaway 3-point try with 1:39 left that could have reduced the deficit to six.

The Knicks (19-23) have now dropped nine of their last 11 games to fall to a season-worst four games under .500 and move to 4-15 on the road.

Karl-Anthony Towns, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, showed why as he buried the Knicks with a near triple-double — 23 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists — as Minnesota poured it on in the second half.

Towns, the Metuchen, N.J., product, shot 9 of 15 from the field, the shooting woes continued for Porzingis, the fourth pick in 2015, even with Hardaway back to spread the court. Porzingis shot 6 of 19 for 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, sprinkling in three turnovers the Timberwolves converted into fastbreak points. Porzingis entered the night having shot just 39.9 percent in his past 16 games — spanning Hardaway’s absence.

The Knicks have one home game — Sunday versus the Pelicans — before a seven-game road trip. Coach Tom Thibodeau’s Timberwolves (28-16) are headed in the opposite direction, notching their 11th win in 14 games with Towns starting to play stout defense.

Knicks super-sub Michael Beasley already has seen a decrease in his minutes, but not his production, with Hardaway’s return. Beasley scored 13 points in 16 minutes, making 6 of 8 baskets.

Tim Hardaway, who made his Knicks return, defends Tyus Jones during the Knicks’ loss.AP

After the Knicks led 57-55 at halftime, the Timberwolves sprinted on a 14-4 run out of the gates to seize the advantage as Towns took control. Porzingis, meanwhile, had troubled putting it on the deck without getting stripped.

The Knicks managed to play the first half without attempting a free throw. It was the first time since 2003 they didn’t shoot a free throw in a first half. It wasn’t until 1:52 left in the third when the Knicks went to the line as Kyle O’Quinn shot and missed his free throw after a spinning layup and foul. The Knicks finished the game taking nine free throws.

Hardaway missed his first two shots, but then found his range, finishing with seven points — 3 of 8 from the field — in 12 minutes by intermission. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said before the game he would limit his playing time to the 20-minute range, and six-minute bursts appeared to be the plan.

The former Michigan star hit the court for the first time since late November with 5:45 left in the first quarter and bricked a corner 3 on his second possession.

He scored his first basket on a 20-footer form the right wing with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. He was used for a six-minute stint to close the quarter, then returned with 6:14 left in the half, drilling his first 3-pointer.

Late in the half, Hardaway penetrated and kicked to an open Porzingis, who hit the catch-and-shoot 3-pointer. It was the kind of play missing from the Knicks’ offense, getting Porzingis shots in rhythm.

The Knicks built an eight-point lead as Beasley continued his tear. He scored 11 points in six first-half minutes, making 5 of 6 shots, including a 3-pointer. Even when he fumbled the ball on a drive, he picked it up and nailed a little shot in the lane — confirming his new nickname in the locker room of “WB” (Walking Bucket).

Sport

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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