NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle scored 39 points, OG Anunoby had 17 in a strong debut with his new team and the New York Knicks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-106 on Monday.
Jalen Brunson added 16 points and a career-high 14 assists for the Knicks, who snapped a three-game losing streak after putting Anunoby into the starting lineup for his first game since coming from Toronto in Saturday’s trade that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors.
Anunoby was 7 for 12 from the field and helped the Knicks deliver a solid defensive effort against the Western Conference leaders before fouling out with 4:12 left, getting a nice hand from the sold-out crowd as he went to the bench.
The Timberwolves cut a 22-point deficit down to four midway through the fourth quarter, but Randle rescued the Knicks by scoring their next 11 points, including a three-point play that made it 110-102 with 23 seconds remaining.
Anthony Edwards scored 35 points, his third straight game above 30. Karl-Anthony Towns snapped out of a recent scoring slump with 29.
The Knicks outscored the Wolves 38-17 in the second quarter to take a 61-49 lead, then broke it open with an 8-0 run in the third that gave them a 19-point advantage.
Donte DiVincenzo and Anunoby hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Knicks their largest lead at 83-61 later in the quarter, and it was 94-78 headed to the fourth.
Minnesota then scored the first 10 of the final period to make it a six-point game before Anunoby’s 3-pointer from the corner stopped the run. The Wolves kept coming, but Randle wouldn’t let them come all the way back.
Anunoby said he arrived in New York on Sunday and had been trying to learn some of the Knicks’ plays and terminologies they use. He can become a free agent after the season, but wasn’t ready to think about his future with his present so unsettled.
“I have to find out where to live,” he said. “I don’t know anything. I’m just trying to figure it out.”
The Knicks gave up two of their best scorers to get him. Coach Tom Thibodeau said he liked the way the Knicks had been playing, but viewed the trade as the kind of chance team president Leon Rose had to take.
“I thought we’ve had a heavy road schedule and I thought there was steady improvement,” Thibodeau said. “But like I said, when you sit in Leon’s chair, you also have to look at where we are now and where we want to go.”