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Davis, Garnett help Timberwolves by lowly Knicks

Nov 23, 2006 - 4:03 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The struggling Minnesota Timberwolves were glad to see the New York Knicks come to the "Twin Cites."

Ricky Davis scored 21 points and superstar Kevin Garnett added 19 and nine rebounds as the Timberwolves cruised to a 107-89 victory over the Knicks, who dropped their third straight game.

Minnesota entered Wednesday with six losses in its last seven games, including a heartbreaking 99-96 home setback Saturday against New Orleans that featured 22 points and 17 rebounds by Garnett.

"Good effort tonight. Everyone who was on the floor contributed," Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. "Our defense was solid and we got back in transition and got them into a half-court game. That was our goal.

"We worked for two straight days on transition defense. The guys did a good job of letting a quick guy like Nate Robinson or Jamal Crawford get past them and instead making them come to you. That's what we didn't do (last game) against Chris Paul."

The Timberwolves got it going early as they held a commanding 30-13 advantage after the first quarter and never allowed New York to get within 12 points thereafter.

"We were bad all the way around. Everything that we work on and we practice, this is the first time that we didn't play together as a team offensively and defensively," New York coach Isiah Thomas said. "It was disappointing watching it. We didn't play like a team. Even in the games we've lost, we always played like a team and we've always competed. But tonight, we didn't do that."

Mark Blount scored a season-best 17 points and Mike James added 16 for Minnesota, which shot 53 percent (38-of-71) from the field and scored over 100 points for just the third time this season.

"We played well for four quarters," James said. "We were aggressive in the beginning and kept strong."

Timberwolves second-round pick Craig Smith had nine points and seven rebounds off the bench. He is averaging 9.6 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last three contests.

"Craig is special. Blount does a great job, but Craig comes in and changes the game," Casey said. "It's his intensity, his smarts, the fact that he's always were he's supposed to be."

Crawford and Steve Francis scored 19 points apiece for the Knicks, who shot 44 percent (32-of-72). Crawford replaced Francis in the starting lineup.

Former Timberwolf Stephon Marbury scored 18 points for the Knicks despite being booed throughout the game.

"We came out with a lot of energy," Garnett said. "When Steph comes to the building, we know there is going to be a lot of energy coming from the fans."

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