Reserve Derrick Rose scored 20 points Friday night as the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame the absence of All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns to earn a 115-104 victory over the New York Knicks, whose team-record home losing streak reached 18 games.
Towns was placed in the NBA's concussion protocol before the game and missed the first game of his 4-year career. He was involved in a traffic accident in the Minneapolis area Thursday when he was headed to the airport.
Towns was examined before the Wolves traveled, and attended the game. Before the game, interim head coach Ryan Saunders said Towns was in good spirits but it is unknown if Towns will play Saturday in Milwaukee.
Taj Gibson started for Towns and added 19 points and 10 rebounds as Minnesota shot 46.6 percent. Andrew Wiggins contributed 17 as the Wolves won three straight for the first time under Saunders.
The Knicks tied the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers for the second-longest home skid in NBA history. New York also lost for the 19th time in its last 20 games overall.
Rookies Damyean Dotson and Allonzo Trier scored 20 points each as the Knicks shot 42.5 percent and committed 20 turnovers.
Dotson hit five 3-pointers and scored 18 points as the Knicks shot 52 percent to get a 33-29 lead after the first quarter.
After the slow start Minnesota took control in the second. Anthony Tolliver's third 3-pointer gave Minnesota a 51-41 lead with 7:09 left and the Wolves held a 66-58 lead at halftime.
Wiggins hit 2 3-pointers and a jumper in the final 4:50 of the third as Minnesota took a 94-83 lead into the fourth.
The Wolves extended the lead to 105-88 on a basket by Luol Deng but missed 6 of their next 7 shots and New York went on a 13-2 run to get within 109-101 on a layup by Emmanuel Mudiay with 4 minutes left.
Minnesota finally secured the win when Gibson hit a layup with 3:14 left to make it 113-101.
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