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Reply To: NBA • Saturday Service Plays • 2/20/16

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Preview: New York At Minnesota

When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 20, 2016
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The New York Knicks continue to fade and look to end a season-worst seven-game losing streak when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. The Knicks lost for the 11th time in 12 games when they fell to the Brooklyn Nets 109-98 on Friday and are falling out of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

New York recently fired Derek Fisher and interim coach Kurt Rambis insists making the playoffs is an attainable goal but the Knicks sit six games out after the latest defeat. “We can’t be giving away games like this,” All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony said after the loss to the struggling Nets. “It’s crunch time now.” Minnesota has long been out of the Western Conference race and is four losses away from sewing up an 11th consecutive losing season. The Timberwolves lost 109-104 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday in a contest in which they were 2-of-17 shooting in the fourth quarter.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE KNICKS (23-33): Brooklyn scored 21 points off 16 New York turnovers and that disappointed Rambis and disgusted Anthony. “It was kind of self-explanatory, it was obvious why we lost the game,” Anthony told reporters. “We can try to pinpoint and finger point and do that but the proof is in the pudding.” New York has allowed more than 110 points on five occasions during the 1-11 slide and has tallied fewer than 100 points eight times.

ABOUT THE TIMBERWOLVES (17-38): Minnesota also experienced turnover issues Friday, committing 22 to lead to 27 Memphis points to sabotage an effort in which it made all 31 of its free-throw attempts. Second-year guard Zach LaVine moved into the starting lineup against the Grizzlies and he scored 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and has reached double digits in 10 straight games, averaging 18 points during the stretch. Veteran forward Tayshaun Prince didn’t see any action against Memphis and the Timberwolves are expected to go with a lot of three-guard alignments – LaVine teamed with shooting guard Andrew Wiggins and point guard Ricky Rubio – over the final third of the season along with rookie standout Karl-Anthony Towns and third-year pro Gorgui Dieng starting up front.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. SG Arron Afflalo scored 29 points as the Knicks posted a 107-102 home victory over the Timberwolves on Dec. 16.

2. Minnesota backup SG Kevin Martin (wrist) had 12 points in 13 minutes against Memphis after missing the previous nine games.

3. Rambis confirmed that New York plans to sign G Jimmer Fredette to a 10-day contract Monday.

PREDICTION: Timberwolves 106, Knicks 101