Gibson scores 25 as Wolves, without Towns, top Knicks 103-92
Taj Gibson scored a season-high 25 points, Jeff Teague added 20 points and 10 assists, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New York Knicks 103-92 on Sunday night despite playing without All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns.
Rookie Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 18 points, while Tyus Jones added 13 and Dario Saric 11 for Minnesota, which has won six straight home games.
Damyean Dotson led New York with 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting. Allonzo Trier added 15, Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox each had 13, and Mitchell Robinson had eight points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks.
Minnesota was missing two of its top three scorers. Towns missed the game with right knee inflammation, while forward Andrew Wiggins sat out with a thigh contusion.
Meanwhile, Derrick Rose, the Wolves’ second-leading scorer, played just eight minutes, all in the first half, as coach Ryan Saunders chose to rest the veteran against the team with the NBA’s worst record.
The Knicks kept it close for 1 1/2 quarters, taking their last lead at 30-27 on Trier’s driving layup with 8:49 left in the half. But Minnesota answered with a quick 8-0 run that included a 3-pointer by Anthony Tolliver and Gibson’s dunk.
Teague drained a 30-footer to beat the halftime buzzer as Minnesota took a 55-45 lead into the break.
Knicks: Dotson topped the 20-point mark for the sixth time this season. . Robinson posted a block in his 24th straight game, the longest streak for a Knicks rookie since Patrick Ewing’s 28-game streak in 1985-86. . DeAndre Jordan, who is second in the NBA at 13.5 rebounds per game, finished with just two points and five boards in 15 minutes. . New York committed 19 turnovers, which Minnesota turned into 27 points.
Timberwolves: It was the first game Minnesota has played without either Towns or Wiggins since April 16, 2014. . Bates-Diop has started Minnesota’s last two games in place of Wiggins and has scored in double figures in both. . Gibson had 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Knicks with Towns absent on Feb. 22. . Minnesota is now 3-8 in the second game of back-to-backs but 3-0 at home.
Knicks: At Indiana on Tuesday.
Timberwolves: At Denver on Tuesday.