MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Down 11 in the fourth quarter against a team he feels the New York Knicks should beat, Carmelo Anthony didn't see another disappointing loss coming. He saw an opportunity, and that's exactly what he told Raymond Felton.
"I told Raymond, 'I'm going to try to go get it,'" Anthony said.
Once he made up his mind, the Minnesota Timberwolves were powerless to stop him.
Anthony had 36 points and nine rebounds, scoring 12 points down the stretch to rally the Knicks to a 100-94 victory on Friday night.
Anthony topped 30 points for the 17th time this season for the Knicks, who trailed 87-76 with seven minutes to play. But Anthony did all of his fourth-quarter damage in those final minutes, hitting a 19-footer with 1:10 to play that put New York up for good.
"This was one of the games we had to win," Anthony said. "We had to go get it. Our backs were kind of against the wall, being down 11. It was one of those games we didn't want to look back on saying we should have won this game, kind of like the Wizards game."
Derrick Williams scored 19 points and Ricky Rubio had 18 points and 11 assists for the Timberwolves, who lost for the 14th time in 16 games. Nikola Pekovic added 16 points and 11 rebounds, but Minnesota had no answer for Anthony down the stretch.
"He's a superstar," Rubio said. "He's a scorer. He makes everything look easy."
The Knicks will have to savor this victory in Minnesota a little longer than they initially expected.
J.R. Smith scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Knicks, who found out earlier in the day that they would be staying in Minnesota at least one extra day thanks to a massive snow storm that was blanketing the East Coast. They planned to get up on Saturday morning and do some scouting on their next opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers, who are scheduled to play at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The Knicks hoped to leave at some point on Saturday once the weather cleared.
Luke Ridnour scored 20 points for the Minnesota, which had a chance to take the lead in the final 30 seconds when it trailed 95-94. But Ridnour didn't get the call he wanted on a drive to the basket, and Smith converted a three-point play on the other end to hold off the feisty Wolves, who again were playing without Kevin Love (broken hand), Chase Budinger (knee) and Andrei Kirilenko (quad).
"If we keep playing like that we are going to win games," coach Rick Adelman said.