Knicks Seek Season Sweep Against New Orleans

1. On Friday night in Minnesota, the Timberwolves held off the Knicks by outscoring the road team 31-22 in the final stanza. The 21-6 run from Minnesota in the fourth quarter was the difference in a close contest through three quarters of play. Jarrett Jack scored a season-high 18 points and dished out eight assists, Enes Kanter recorded a double-double, and Kristaps Porzingis finished with 17 points in the 118-108 defeat.

2. Tim Hardaway Jr. returned to the floor on Friday after missing 20 games due to stress injury to his lower leg. Head coach Jeff Hornacek brought Hardaway Jr. off the bench and his performance was impressive. The shooting guard hit 4-of-8 shots from downtown en route to a 16-point night in just 24 minutes of court time.

3. Yesterday, New York announced the team waived point guard Ramon Sessions. Knicks GM Scott Perry on Sessions: “We thank Ramon for being a consummate professional and providing this team with veteran leadership. He is incredibly well respected throughout the organization and we wish him the best moving forward.”

4. New York was victorious in the first meeting between the two teams on December 30 in New Orleans. Porzingis was instrumental in the win as he scored seven straight points down the stretch to lift the Knicks to a 105-103 victory. Jack tallied seven assists, Michael Beasley chipped in 15, and rookie Frank Ntilikina dropped eight points off the pine. On the other side, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 60 points and 28 boards but New York held the prolific Pelicans seven points below their season average (110.8).

5. Since the loss to the Knicks, New Orleans is 3-2 and fresh off a 119-113 win over the Trail Blazers. The Pelicans own a 21-20 overall mark and they are starting a three-game East Coast with the matchup against New York at MSG. The focal point of the New Orleans attack remains the same as the team features two of the best big men in the paint. The Pelicans rank No. 4 in points scored in the NBA and No. 2 in field goal percentage.

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