The Minnesota Timberwolves came to Madison Square Garden without the services of Anthony Edwards or Karl-Anthony Towns. They left conquerors, 140-134 over the New York Knicks. Sometimes the music means more than the meaning, and that was the case with this one: it sucks that the Knicks lost, but this game was headline after headline after headline, three spinning newspapers in one. Like Jesus, Elvis and Tupac all walking into the same bar.
Headline 1: Minnesota’s early shooting! Those 140 points they scored? The second-most the Knicks have allowed this season (they gave up 145 in the early-season home loss when OKC channeled the gods and rained 3s)? That was the result of a second-half recession. The Wolves scored 79 in the first half on 71% shooting. Nine Wolves took shots tonight; only Jordan McLaughlin hit fewer than half.
Headline 2: Julius Randle went somewhere tonight as a scorer that you just don’t see very often. Once a decade, maybe longer. It wasn’t just the numbers — but if numbers do it for you, you’ll appreciate 57 points on 29 shots, including eight 3s and 11 free throws. It was the artistry. For three quarters Randle was as good a scorer as any Knick has ever been. He scored 26 in the first half, then set a club record with 26 in a quarter in the third.
51 FOR JULIUS RANDLE— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) March 21, 2023
51 FOR JULIUS RANDLE
51 FOR JULIUS RANDLE
51 FOR JULIUS RANDLE pic.twitter.com/N4XfNGJ2bO
But the decisive moment would come courtesy of a less likely lupus.
Headline 3: Taurean Prince took 13 shots from the field. Five within the arc, eight without. He made 12. Four within, all eight without. If you find this use of “without” archaic, consider it my homage to the night a Prince planted his flag at MSG. Randle landed the strongest punches in the fight, but Prince landed the last one. Last is sometimes best.
Taurean. Freaking. Prince.— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) March 21, 2023
His EIGHTH 3-pointer tonight. pic.twitter.com/dfFouL5YXt
Recap to come, yeah? Yeah.