The Minnesota Timberwolves are hoping to keep their first home
losing streak of the season as brief as possible, and a meeting
with the Philadelphia 76ers could help.
The 76ers have dropped eight in a row on the road heading into
Wednesday night’s matchup and again might have to play without
standout rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
The Timberwolves (10-11) were blown out 103-82 by Miami on
Saturday in their return from a postponed game against San Antonio
in Mexico City last Wednesday. They bounced back with a 121-94 rout
in Detroit on Tuesday.
Kevin Love contributed 26 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists
after missing the game against the Heat because of his
grandmother’s funeral. He had “RIP Grandma Carol” on his shoes.
“She’s supported me since I was a baby, so I wanted to make sure
and do something special for her tonight,” said Love, who has a
league-best 19 double-doubles.
Minnesota will try to carry that momentum into its only home
game in the next four contests. The Timberwolves will face a
Philadelphia team that’s dropped 11 of 13 and three straight, all
by double digits. Only an overtime win against Milwaukee on Nov. 22
and another in double OT versus Orlando on Dec. 3 kept the 76ers
(7-15) from a far lengthier skid.
Evan Turner had 25 points and eight rebounds Monday against the
Los Angeles Clippers, but only one other player scored in double
figures in a 94-83 defeat. Philadelphia shot 35.9 percent and was 3
of 21 from 3-point range.
Carter-Williams was released from the hospital the night before
after staying three nights to clear up a skin infection in his
right knee. Carter-Williams, averaging 17.7 points, 7.3 assists,
5.8 rebounds and an NBA-leading 3.1 steals, is considered day to
Philadelphia, attempting to avoid matching its longest losing
streak of the season, is 1-6 without Carter-Williams.
“The challenge, at times, keeps you up real late at night,”
coach Brett Brown said.
Games against Minnesota have also proved challenging lately. The
76ers have dropped the last three meetings overall and 10 of 12 in
Love missed the most recent matchup, a 94-87 home win Feb. 20,
after undergoing surgery on his right hand. Nikola Pekovic made up
for his absence by scoring 27 points and matching a career high
with 18 rebounds.
Love struggled in last season’s other meeting, a 105-88 win Dec.
4, 2012, with six points on 2-of-10 shooting. The Timberwolves
overcame that effort with seven players in double figures, led by
Alexey Shved’s 17 points.
Love is averaging 13.4 points in seven career games against
Philadelphia, his fewest versus any opponent, but he’s grabbed 80
rebounds in those matchups.
Turner averaged 18.0 points against the Timberwolves last season
but shot 14 for 36 (38.9 percent).
The 76ers had a 15-game road losing streak Jan. 2-March 21, five
shy of tying the longest in franchise history.