Wolves record: 5-23
Sebastian Telfair came home for the holidays Friday night and helped deliver a 120-107 victory at New York that ended the Timberwolves’ losing streak at 13 games and 28 days.
From forgotten to unforgettable, Telfair’s 20-point, eight-assist, 31-minute night before his family and friends at Madison Square Garden provided Kevin McHale with his first victory since he replaced Randy Wittman as coach nearly three weeks ago.
Telfair’s play also allowed the Wolves to win for the first time since they beat Oklahoma City the day after Thanksgiving.
Rashad McCants scored 23 points off the bench and Al Jefferson added 21 and 15 rebounds for the Wolves (5-23), who won for the first time in nine games under coach Kevin McHale and for the first time since a 105-103 triumph Nov. 28 at Oklahoma City.
McCants hit 7 of 9 three-point attempts, and Minnesota made 54.2 percent (13 of 24) as a team to end the third-longest losing streak in franchise history.
“We needed that one,” McHale said. “At the end of the game, I said thank God, and I meant it. We needed that win bad.”
7 Rashad McCants’ three-pointers, one short of Stephon Marbury’s team record.
“We were making shots tonight and then when they made a run we didn’t put our heads down,” Jefferson said. “We just kept playing.”
Jefferson took over midway through the third quarter, bulling his way past smaller defenders to lead an 11-1 spurt that made it 82-64. The Knicks were then forced to help on him with as many as three players, freeing room for McCants, who nailed three 3-pointers later in the period to give Minnesota a 94-75 cushion entering the fourth.
The Knicks woke up after three sluggish quarters to pull within seven with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining, but Ryan Gomes hit a 3-pointer and Craig Smith converted a three-point play as Minnesota regained control at 112-99 with 3:40 remaining.