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Melo, Knicks snap skid, top Wolves

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points to help the New York Knicks snap a seven-game losing streak with a 118-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

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Tyson Chandler had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Amare Stoudemire added 18 points and eight boards for the Knicks, who had not won since beating New Orleans on Feb. 19.

Kevin Love had 19 points and eight rebounds, but scored just one point in the second half as the Timberwolves returned from a successful West Coast road trip with a thud. Kevin Martin had 12 points on 3-for-10 shooting and the Wolves were 7 for 26 from 3-point range.

Raymond Felton had 18 points and eight assists for the Knicks and J.R. Smith added 14 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Knicks.

The Knicks staggered into the game struggling to hit open shots and with coach Mike Woodson again facing questions about his job security.

Timberwolves coaches quietly worried about opening a homestand against a team that had been playing so poorly, fearing that the breakout was coming. They were right.

The Knicks hit eight of their first 10 field goals Wednesday night and went 5 for 7 from 3-point range to open up a 38-24 lead after one quarter. The lead swelled to 17 points in the second quarter as New York chewed up Minnesota's soft interior defense with pick-and-roll lobs to Chandler, a staple of their 54 victories last year, and the Knicks' confidence continued to while building a 66-55 halftime lead.

The Wolves came into the game after a 4-1 road trip out West that had them primed for one last run at a playoff spot. They trailed the Phoenix Suns by 4 1/2 games for the eighth and final spot, and had home games coming up against the Knicks, Pistons, Raptors and Milwaukee that offered ample opportunity to make up more ground.

After such a flat first half, Ricky Rubio and the Wolves came alive in the third quarter, methodically carving into the Knicks' lead. Nikola Pekovic, who is still working his way back from an ankle injury that kept him out for most of February, asserted himself in the paint against Stoudemire and an emboldened Rubio scored nine points in the quarter to cut the deficit to 88-86 going into the fourth.

But Chandler bottled up Love, who led the NBA with 34 points and 14.1 rebounds per game in February. Love finished 6 for 17 from the field.

Anthony and Stoudemire led a 15-2 charge to start the fourth quarter that sealed the victory. Felton hit Tim Hardaway Jr. for a soaring alley-oop moments later for a 107-92 lead and the Knicks held on for the win.

NOTES: Pekovic finished with 17 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes and Rubio had 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Wolves. ... Love was a candidate for February player of the month in the West, but lost out to the Clippers' Blake Griffin. ... New York's 66 points were its second-highest first half output of the season.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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