Knicks: SG Courtney Lee only played eight minutes because of a sprained left ankle. … Coach Jeff Hornacek said F Lance Thomas, who has not played yet because of a sore left ankle, had a good workout during shootaround and will practice on Friday in the hopes of playing in the next game or two.
Timberwolves: Wiggins had 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. … Towns’ 22 points in the first quarter were two off of Chauncey Billups’ franchise record of 24. … G/F Brandon Rush was inactive with a sore big toe that has bothered him for much of the season.
The two young stars rarely guarded each other, but Towns did go at Porzingis late in the second quarter, rising up to try to dunk on him only to have the Latvian emphatically stuff him for Towns’ first missed shot in 11 attempts.
“He tried,” Porzingis said. “He was being super aggressive. He was driving to the basket, shooting from the outside, playing in the post. He was doing everything. He was playing an overall game, and it was really hard to stop him.”
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The Bulls made the playoffs all five seasons with coach Tom Thibodeau leading Derrick Rose and Noah. Rose and Noah were two players Thibodeau, now with Minnesota, deeply respected for their competitive drive and determination.
“You don’t realize what you have with him until he’s not around,” Noah said. “He used to tell me that when I played for him because we used to butt heads all the time. He’s definitely one of the tops in the business.”
Two Knicks assistants have Minnesota ties, with Kurt Rambis a former head coach and Jerry Sichting spending a total of 13 years in two separate stints as an assistant.
“It’s still special,” Sichting said. “I still know a lot of people in the organization and around town. I don’t miss the winters around here, but I always enjoy coming back.”