Sports

Ping-pong battle when T-wolves visit MSG

(SportsNetwork.com) - The teams sharing the worst record in the NBA clash Thursday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves visit Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks.

Both teams share a 14-53 mark in the race for the most ping-pong balls in the NBA Lottery.

The Knicks head into Thursday's matchup riding high from their biggest win of the season, a 104-100 overtime triumph over the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night at MSG.

Langston Galloway and Alexey Shved combined for 43 points and Lou Amundson pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds to pull off the shocking upset over the defending NBA champs.

"It feels great, more for the players than anything," said Knicks coach Derek Fisher.

Galloway had a game-high 22 points, Shved added a game-high seven assists and Andrea Bargnani posted 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who improved to 2-2 on the heels of six straight losses.

They led 101-99 late in overtime when Tim Duncan worked his way to the free throw line. He was pure with the first free throw, but missed the second one, and Amundson secured the board.

Amundson then got fouled and split his pair with eight seconds to play. Out of a timeout, Duncan looked for a cutting Kawhi Leonard, but his pass was knocked away and Amundson came up with the loose ball. Shved made two free throws to put the game away.

The win left a sour taste in the mouth of the Spurs.

"They moved the ball better than we did, they played better team basketball," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "We didn't respect the game, we didn't respect our opponent."

The Knicks begin an Atlantic Division road trip, starting Friday in Philadelphia and ending Sunday in Toronto.

The Timberwolves head to the Garden on a six-game losing streak and a seven- game skid on the road.

On Wednesday, Minny fell north of the border, 105-100, to the Raptors.

Kevin Martin scored 37 points, while Chase Budinger supplied 19 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota, which has dropped 10 of its last 11 contests.

Andrew Wiggins, who grew up in the north suburbs of Toronto, received a loud ovation during pregame introductions.

"Even though we didn't win the game, I still feel appreciated, and had fun," he said.

A Wiggins tip-in and Budinger jumper pulled the Wolves within 98-96 with 2:44 remaining, but Toronto scored seven of the next nine points to put the game away.

Assistant coach Sam Mitchell filled in for head coach Flip Saunders. Saunders is in Cleveland to be with his ailing father and his availability for Thursday is unknown.

The T-wolves beat the Knicks in Minnesota on Nov. 19, but the Knicks have won three of the last four meetings in New York.