Wolves rally from 19 down to beat 76ers 106-99
Down 19 at home to the struggling Philadelphia 76ers, the
Minnesota Timberwolves’ season had reached a bit of crossroads as
the second quarter opened.
With a brutal trip awaiting, the Wolves simply couldn’t afford
to drop this one. So they rolled up their sleeves and started
chipping away, and the young Sixers let them right back in it.
Kevin Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists and the
Timberwolves got solid contributions from their beleaguered bench
to beat the 76ers 106-99 on Wednesday night.
”It took us a long time to get into it,” coach Rick Adelman
said. ”But then into the second quarter, into the second half, we
just kind of gradually got a rhythm going and took control and they
Ricky Rubio had 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds,
Nikola Pekovic added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Robbie Hummel
hit a couple of big shots for the Wolves in the fourth quarter.
”It showed the second unit can step up and can score,” said
Love, who racked up his fifth game this season with at least 25
points, 15 boards and five assists. No other player has done it
once. ”So I guess this was a character builder for us.”
Spencer Hawes had 20 points and six rebounds for the Sixers, who
led 39-20 after a tremendous first quarter and had a 13-point
advantage at halftime. But they turned the ball over 26 times and
shot 14 free throws to Minnesota’s 29.
Hummel scored all 10 of his points in the fourth, including a
3-pointer that started the deciding 13-3 run. The Wolves grabbed 17
offensive rebounds to offset 38.5 percent shooting.
”We just had stats that were too insurmountable,” Sixers coach
Brett Brown said. ”It’s hard to make those types of deficits up on
the road against a good team.”
The Wolves still trailed 86-81 with less than 9:30 to go before
Hummel buried a 3 to get them started. Pekovic scored six points
during the run, including a soft baseline jumper from the burly
Montenegrin that put them in front 89-86.
Tony Wroten had 20 points in yet another start for Sixers star
rookie Michael Carter-Williams, who missed his fourth straight game
with a sore right knee. James Anderson added 16 points and eight
The Sixers were surprisingly competitive early in the season,
winning their first three games and beating the Miami Heat in the
opener. But the pains of rebuilding have gradually started to set
in, and they slumped into Target Center having lost 11 of their
previous 13 games and eight in a row on the road.
Perhaps taking the game for granted, the Wolves put together a
lifeless performance in the first half, and the young Sixers
pounced. They shot a staggering 77 percent in the first quarter,
closing it on a 20-3 run. They scored 15 fast-break points and held
Minnesota to 30 percent shooting to build the cushion.
Turner and Young attacked the rim for easy layup after easy
layup and Hawes hit two 3s to spread the floor, catching the Wolves
Kevin Martin missed his first eight shots and the Wolves still
trailed by 13 at halftime in a game they absolutely needed. The
Wolves leave Thursday for a tough trip to San Antonio, Memphis and
Boston and also play Portland and at the Clippers and Lakers before
”When you have a team down 20 that’s coming off a back-to-back
and you have the opportunity to put a stamp on it, you’ve got to
take advantage of it,” Hawes said. ”Credit to them. They fought
their way back.”
They finally showed some signs of life to start the third
quarter, opening with a 13-2 run and tying the game on a 3-pointer
from Rubio late in the quarter.
Rubio also had three steals. The Wolves scored 27 points off
those Philly turnovers to hold off the Sixers.
NOTES: Wolves coach Rick Adelman said before the game that F
Ronny Turiaf’s fractured right elbow isn’t healing as quickly as
the team had hoped. He said Turiaf is still ”a ways away” from
playing, though there is no specific timetable. … Sixers PG
Lorenzo Brown, a second-round pick of the Wolves who did not make
the team out of training camp, played well with four points and six