NEW YORK – Anthony Tolliver did what he was always does when he gets meaningful minutes – pulls the trigger on as many 3-pointers as he can.
It was working for him Friday night in the Wolves’ 115-104 victory over the Knicks. Tolliver helped the Wolves off the bench with a season-high 16 points as he helped the Wolves pick up the slack for Karl-Anthony Towns, who missed Friday’s game after entering concussion protocol following a car accident Thursday.
It’s been an up-and-down year for Tolliver, who has spent stints of the season out of the rotation. But throughout he has maintained his professionalism and has been ready to play when needed. The Wolves needed him Friday, and he responded.
“Felt really good,” Tolliver said. “Just felt good to play, play in the rotation and play kind of my natural position and just be able to go out there and produce and just have a lot of confidence in myself. Teammates have confidence in me whenever I’m able to get going.”
That confidence hasn’t wavered. Players and coaches have all taken note of his preparedness regardless of whether he’s playing or not.
“Give Anthony a ton of credit. He’s a pro’s pro,” Saunders said. “Just staying ready -- he was really good tonight.”
Rose back in the Garden
It may be hard to remember but Derrick Rose actually played his home games at Madison Square Garden for a season in 2016-17. He made sure to put on a show for the fans in scoring 20 points on 6 of 14 shooting.
“It’s always great playing here,” Rose said. “The fans are great here. I know it felt good just being back in the league and just playing the way that I normally play. Playing with aggression and just playing my game.
Bates-Diop gets some run
Rookie Keita Bates-Diop played in only six games prior to Friday. And all of those minutes came in mop-up duty, but with Towns and backup center Gorgui Dieng out, the Wolves needed big bodies and the 6-foot-9 Bates-Diop provided that. He ended up playing 12 minutes and buried a corner 3-pointer in the fourth quarter for his only points of the night.
“To get your first real meaningful minutes in an NBA game here in Madison Square Garden in a game like this, he did a nice job,” Saunders said.