Spencer Hawes played 19 minutes without doing much, but he was the one who got the assist to Zeller in the winning play, which means more time on the floor for him instead of Frank Kaminsky, playing less than he should with Clifford hiding behind some physicality excuse, instead of simply playing the better player right now.
With Andrew Wiggins ruled out of the game with a sore knee, sophomore guard Zach LaVine capitalized on the opportunity with 20 points and 8 assists. 7 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN Southeast (Charlotte) ABOUT THE KNICKS (4-4): NY was largely uncompetitive last season and Tuesday's victory was another example of the difference in the psyche of the team. He was out with a sore knee.
Besides Wiggins, Kevin Garnett and Ricky Rubio were ruled out, too, with minor injuries. Nicolas Batum added 17 points for the Hornets, who overcame a combined 7-for-21 shooting from Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker to beat the depleted Timberwolves.
Towns scored the first four points, LaVine the next five and Martin hit a 3-pointer as the Wolves opened the game with a 12-3 run. Nemanja Bjelica hit two free throws, but then he fouled Lin on a 3-point attempt at the quarter buzzer, and Lin made all three free throws to give Charlotte a one-point lead entering the second. The points, assists and rebounds all marked season highs for the sophomore.
And Lin's even drawing praise from Clifford for his defense on Minnesota's lethal shooter Kevin Martin. "I thought that kind of reset everybody's mindset a bit and allowed us to have a pretty solid fourth quarter", Anthony said after scoring 25 points.
Fully recovered and healthy for now, Anthony is averaging 21.9 points on 38.1 percent shooting along with 6.9 rebounds through New York's first eight games... They were led by Jeremy Lin with 19 points, while Jeremy Lamb added 18 of his own. "We wanted to make up for what we did last game, which was give them a negative boost against the Spurs when the starters came out strong".
A 9-0 run bridging the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters pushed Charlotte's lead to 11, and the Hornets (3-4) held on.
Hornets guard P.J. Hairston left Tuesday's game with a migraine and did not return.
Hornets reserves stepped up tonight, outscoring the Wolves bench 57-23.
With the Timberwolves thin at point guard, rookie Tyus Jones - a Minnesota native - made his NBA debut. He's had six games with three or more blocks and has five double-doubles in seven games.
Once again LaVine showed moments of brilliance and times when he struggled. They've come around offensively, averaging 109.0 points and shooting 49.2 percent in the last four games after posting marks of 93.3 and 39.1 on their season-opening three-game losing streak.