It's official: After fouling out of his impressive debut with the Knicks, OG Anunoby was greeted with a warm applause as he made his way to the bench. Even in the last moments, Julius Randle had the crowd roaring.
On Monday, the Knicks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-106. Randle scored 39 points and Anunoby added 17.
With Anunoby starting for the first time since joining the team from Toronto in Saturday's deal that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors, the Knicks stopped a three-game losing streak. Jalen Brunson added 16 points and a career-high fourteen assists.
Despite Anunoby's new arrival and the fact that he was still being briefed on game strategy, he contributed to the Knicks' strong defensive performance against the Western Conference leaders and shot 7 for 12 from the field
"I thought first game, impressive, really just to be ready and kind of figure it out like on the fly," commented Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Timberwolves were within striking distance of the Knicks with a 22-point lead. However, Randle came through for the Knicks, scoring 11 points in a row, including a three-pointer that extended the lead to 110-102 with 23 seconds left on the clock.
With 35 points, Anthony Edwards extended his scoring streak to three games in a row. The Wolves got out to a strong start, making 10 of their first 15 shots, but Karl-Anthony Towns broke his scoring drought with 29.
"I felt like our intensity kind of diminished," coach Chris Finch remarked. I didn't think our enthusiasm was particularly high, and it kind of stayed that way, but I felt we had a decent start to the game—we hit some shots and got a few stops. They discovered a different gear while we remained silent.