Bjelica, Towns ignite late rally in Timberwolves win

Tim Hardaway Jr. returns Friday for the Knicks

The Knicks are close to being whole again with Tim Hardaway Jr. returning to the lineup Friday following a 20-game absence.

Tim Hardaway Jr., returning from a stress fracture in his leg, chipped in with 16 points, while Kristaps Porzingis had 17, Enes Kanter 16, Courtney Lee 14, Michael Beasley 13 and Kyle O'Quinn 12 for NY.

Karl-Anthony Towns fell one assist shy of his second career triple-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 118-108 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.

Compared to other sports, the National Basketball Association is known for it's unpredictable nature when it comes to player movement - at least in the past 4-5 years or so anyway - as free agency and the trade period yield insane results every season, with at least one move happening that no one saw coming. Thibodeau served as a Knicks assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy when they reached the NBA Finals in 1999. "Minnesota views Towns, the former No. 1 overall pick of the 2015 draft, as a franchise-caliber player and a vital piece of the future who is not for sale at this time". Taj Gibson added 17 points and six rebounds. The Knicks fall to 19-23, 10th in the East. "But defensively, we didn't get going until the fourth quarter". Andrew Wiggins finished with 16 points, six rebounds and two steals. Enes Kanter had his 18th double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, but the Knicks lost for the ninth time in 11 games.

With five seconds left in the second quarter, Towns hit Butler with an over-the-head pass which gave Butler an easy layup.

After impressive wins against New Orleans, Cleveland and Oklahoma City to start a five-game homestand, the Timberwolves had to work against the struggling Knicks.

After a surprising start to the season without All-Star Chris Paul, the Clippers were looking like playoff hopefuls through the first 10 games of the season or so. By then, Minnesota had attempted 12 free throws.

Rumors have come out of nowhere suggesting the Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves have been in talks for a swap between Griffin and Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Knicks had fallen behind by eight, but with Hardaway, Beasley and Kyle O'Quinn on the floor, the Knicks mounted a comeback and were down 87-86 entering the fourth. NY had control much of the game before Minnesota's run with the reserves complementing Towns. Nemanja Bjelica provided a huge lift by knocking down a pair of three-pointers with Beasley providing little resistance.

Towns added a three-point play, while Tyus Jones and Jamal Crawford bombed in a 3-pointer each, helping the Timberwolves run off to a 113-95 lead with just 4:49 to go.

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