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- New York has won five of its past six games, though the Knicks have lost two straight road games. New York has also beaten Minnesota three straight times, including a 94-91 victory at Madison Square Garden two days before Christmas. Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, and 33 for the game, to lead a New York rally. Minnesota, meanwhile, completes its six-game homestand, having gone only 1-4 in the first five games. The Wolves have also lost 13 of their last 15 games.
- The Knicks and Wolves offer a contrast in one important offensive ability: 3-point shooting. New York has made 528 3-point shots this season, most of any team in the NBA, while the Timberwolves have connected on fewer than half that many: just 255. The Knicks are also the second-most accurate team in shooting 3-pointers, hitting 38.4 percent, while Minnesota has made a league-worst 30.2 percent.
- While the players focus on tonight’s game, Knicks officials made an important decision about what happens afterward. With a snowstorm hammering New York, the Knicks arranged to stay in Minneapolis another night, rather than fly home immediately after the game as they had planned. The Knicks’ current plan is to bus to the airport early Saturday, in hopes of being cleared to fly east sometime in the morning. Yet another complication: A winter storm is forecast for Minnesota, beginning Saturday afternoon. Coach Mike Woodson said the team would hold a walk-through in a Minneapolis hotel ballroom if necessary to prepare for their upcoming game against the Clippers. New York is scheduled to play Los Angeles in Madison Square Garden on Sunday, assuming both teams can get there.
- The Timberwolves will be without forward Andrei Kirilenko for the second straight game due to a strained quad, and coach Rick Adelman suggested before the game that Kirilenko might not play again until after the upcoming All-Star Break. In his place, Mickael Gelabale, who earlier in the day signed a contract for the rest of the season, will get his second start. Gelabale scored 10 points against Portland on Wednesday.
- Forward Chris Johnson also signed a contract for the rest of the season on Friday, as his second 10-day contract expired. To make room, the Wolves waived veteran Lou Amundson, who signed as a free agent in September. Amundson appeared in only 20 games and scored only 32 points this year, despite the Wolves’ persistent injuries on the front line.
- Kevin Love will be at Target Center for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right hand Jan. 15. Love has been in New York since the surgery, rehabbing the injury under doctor’s care.
– Phil Miller