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Foye's hustle leads Timberwolves over Knicks

Apr 8, 2007 - 6:16 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Rookie Randy Foye didn't give up. As a result, the New York Knicks might be all done.

Foye scored 19 points and sealed the win with crucial work on the offensive glass as the Minnesota Timberwolves continued the Knicks' spiral out of the playoff race with a 99-94 victory.

Losers of 11 of its last 14 games, New York (31-44) is three games back of Orlando (34-41) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with just seven contests left.

"I wasn't nice to them in the locker room tonight," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "I was very upset with them. All season long, we fight and we battle and do the little things we need to do to complete a play. We don't do the little things."

But the Knicks had a shot in the waning moments.

After rookie Renaldo Balkman's layup cut New York's deficit to 96-94 with 15 seconds left, the Knicks fouled Foye, who made 1-of-2 free throws. But he did not sulk after missing the second attempt.

Foye jumped over several Knicks and tapped the ball to teammate Craig Smith, who fired the ball out to Kevin Garnett - thwarting New York's attempt at a comeback.

"Every time you are in a close game, it is the little things that hurt and kill you," Thomas said. "It is not the monumental things. All season long, we do the big things and we do the monumental things, and we actually do them quite well, but when it comes down to simplicity and doing the simple things, we are not quite there yet."

A native of nearby Newark, New Jersey, Foye was not intimidated by Madison Square Garden.

"It's really like college (playing in New York)," Foye said. "There really isn't anything different. You can't worry about, 'I'm playing the Knicks.' You just got to go out there and play."

Foye was an efficient 6-of-9 from the field, including 5-of-6 on 3-pointers, and Garnett collected 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who are 5 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the West with seven games left.

"We were just trying to move the ball and get easy shots," Foye said. "We came out flat and that's been one of the biggest things that has been our MO for the year."

"The offense they run, (Foye) passes and cuts and runs the baseline," Thomas said. "With KG being such a distraction, he was wide open. He made open shots. It was one of those days."

Nate Robinson scored all 21 of his points in the second half for the Knicks, who went most of the game without star guard Stephon Marbury, who played just 11 minutes in the first half before leaving with a stiff right turf toe.

"I was coming off a pick-and-roll, and my foot got jammed (under) the back of Mike James' foot I think," Marbury said. "I came back in and at halftime. I got the shot in my foot."

Jamal Crawford (ankle), Quentin Richardson (back) and Steve Francis (ankle) continued to be sidelined. But David Lee had six points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes after missing 17 of the last 18 games with a right leg injury.

"We still got the flame I think," Knicks center Eddy Curry said. "At the end of the day we're all competitors, but we realize what's going on. We got guys that are hurt, we got guys that are playing that are not playing at 100 percent, and you add that with the fact we play so many games, and we're not having the lineup that we (projected) at the beginning of the season, it's tough to win that way."

Curry scored 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

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