LOS ANGELES— Carmelo Anthony came through when it counted for the New York Knicks, who withstood a career-high 47 points from Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns in a 106-104 NBA victory over the Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Anthony’s shooting struggles didn’t stop Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek from going to his veteran star with the game on the line.
With 2.3 seconds remaining, Anthony’s jump shot over Timberwolves guard lifted the Knicks to victory in Minneapolis.
He had connected on just four of 15 shots before that, a disappointing performance that was forgotten in the glow of his game-winner—the 18th of his career in the final 10 seconds of a game.
“Stay with it. Believe in yourself,” Anthony said. “That’s something that I will never stop doing, and my teammates believed in me. Coach believed in me to draw that play up. Either we were going to win or we were going to overtime.”
Anthony’s effort helped New York overcome Towns’ 47 points and 18 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Australian guard Patty Mills came off the bench to score 23 points for the short-handed San Antonio Spurs in a 94-87 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas.
The Spurs rallied to remain perfect on the road this season, improving to 11-0 in away games with their second win over Dallas in the past 10 days.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rested stars Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker on the second night of back-to-back games.
Spain’s Gasol and Argentina’s Ginobili didn’t even leave San Antonio, while France’s Parker made the trip to Dallas but didn’t play.
In Oklahoma City Russell Westbrook posted his fourth successive triple-double to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 126-115 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.
Westbrook produced 35 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists to notch his ninth triple-double of the season and the 46th of his career.
Victor Oladipo added 25 points and Enes Kanter came off the bench to score 14 for the Thunder, who improved to 12-8.
Bradley Beal scored 31 points for the Wizards, whose coach Scott Brooks returned to Oklahoma City for the first time since he was sacked by the Thunder in April of 2015 after seven seasons at the helm.
Beal’s three-pointer with 5:25 left in regulation put the Wizards up 97-90.
But the Thunder rallied to force overtime, Westbrook’s three-pointer with 8.5 seconds left in regulation knotting the score at 105-105.
Westbrook scored 14 points in the extra period as the Thunder pulled away.
The Spurs came back from a 13-point third-quarter deficit even without their big guns.
Mills scored 15 in the fourth period, including eight points in a row as the Spurs went up 90-84.
“I thought that was the moral of that victory, not giving in no matter what,” Mills said.
Mills hit six of seven shots in the final quarter, nine of 12 for the game. He connected on five of six attempts from three-point range.
The Mavericks, a league-worst 3-14, were led by Wesley Matthews’ season-high 26 points.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle had his own injury troubles to contend with. Dirk Nowitzki was out for the 12th time this season, Deron Williams and Devin Harris were limited and Seth Curry left the game late with an undisclosed injury.
“Our guys played extremely hard, and we ran out of players at the end,” Carlisle said. “We had a couple guys on minutes limits and Seth got banged up at the end.”
San Antonio led for most of the first half, but the Mavericks surged ahead in the third quarter with a 15-0 run that put them up 60-47.
But the Spurs battled back. In addition to Mills’ strong late play, San Antonio saw starter Kawhi Leonard score 18 of his 21 points in the second half.
“I just finally started making shots and moving the ball,” Leonard said. “Obviously, Patty knocked down four or five shots in a row.”
Towns, the 21-year-old reigning Rookie of the Year, became the youngest player in Timberwolves history to score 40 points.
The second-year center surpassed his previous high of 35 points with a basket late in the third quarter.
Nevertheless, he found plenty of fault with his game.
“I had some miscues where I let things slide away,” Towns said. “I missed three free throws, missed some rebounds, missed some shots I should have made.”
Minnesota trailed by seven after three quarters and by as many as 17 in the fourth quarter. They tied the score at 102-102 on a three-pointer by Zach LaVine, and knotted it at 104-104 with 24.2 seconds left on two free throws by Towns.
“That momentum shift is tough to stop,” Hornacek said, adding that he didn’t hesitate to turn to Anthony.
“Just the confidence in Carmelo being a 10-time All-Star, that’s what those guys do,” he said.
Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis scored 29 points and point guard Brandon Jennings provided 12 points and seven assists off the bench.
The teams meet again on Friday at Madison Square Garden.
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