Now the Timberwolves (17-17) want something more.
"We need to get over that hump," forward Kevin Love said after a
26-point performance. "It's something we need to get past."
Minnesota has not been above the break-even mark since Nov. 23, when
the T-wolves beat Houston to move to 8-7. Monday marked the eighth
time they have been right at .500 since then. On each of the
previous seven occasions, they have lost their next game.
Center Nikola Pekovic added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the
T-wolves, who in snapping Philadelphia's season-high four-game
winning streak scored their most points of the season. They also
sank a season-high 16 3-pointers on 26 attempts (61.5 percent).
Love, who shot 7-for-12 in all, went 4-for-7 from the arc. Guard
Kevin Martin, who finished with 18 points, drilled three 3-pointers,
as did guard/forward Corey Brewer and guard J.J. Barea. Brewer and
Barea finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Minnesota coach Rick Adelman called it "a really solid win" for his
club, which has beaten Philadelphia five straight times.
"I just liked the way we played, and our attitude, too," he said.
Forward Thaddeus Young, just named Eastern Conference Player of the
Week, had 20 points to pace Philadelphia (12-22), which was coming
off a six-game road trip. But coach Brett Brown was not eager to
blame the loss on fatigue.
"I do think that there is a physical side of what you saw tonight,"
he said, "but the mental side of it upsets me far more. I feel that,
I see that, far more than I do a fatigue factor."
The Sixers turned the ball over 23 times, after averaging just 13.5
during their winning streak. Those miscues led to 30 Minnesota
points. The Timberwolves also owned a 53-40 rebounding advantage.
"That's not us," Brown said of his team's effort. "That's not who we
are. That's not a reflection of the improvement that we have made,
and it's no reflection of them as competitors."
[to top of second column]
The game was tied nine times in the first 17 minutes, the
last time at 46-46 on a basket by Sixers guard Michael
Carter-Williams with 7:06 left in the first half. But the
Timberwolves ended the second quarter on a 24-8 spree to take a
70-54 lead at the break. Pekovic registered eight of his points
in that stretch, and finished the half with 10.
Brewer led Minnesota with 15 in the half, and Young topped the
Sixers with 15.
The T-wolves then limited the Sixers to 8-for-23 shooting while
outscoring them 35-20 in the third quarter, a period that saw
Love score 16 of his points.
NOTES: F Kevin Love has scored 20 points or more in 14
consecutive games, the longest streak by a T-wolves player since
Kevin Garnett eclipsed the 20-point mark in 16 straight in 2003.
... Sixers F Thaddeus Young became the second Sixer to be named
Eastern Conference Player of the Week this season, after
averaging 25 points and nearly eight rebounds in three victories
between Dec. 30 and Jan. 5. Coach Brett Brown called Young "a
gentleman" and said he boasts an "elite" skill set. "He's a good
person," Brown said, "who puts in a lot of time and is now
exploring different skills at 25 years old." ... G
Michael-Carter Williams had been honored earlier. It is the
first time since the '01-02 season two Philadelphia players have
been named Player of the Week in the same season. Allen Iverson
and Eric Snow did it that year. ... Young also averaged 26.4
points over his previous seven games, a hot streak that came
immediately after his name surfaced in trade rumors. "It's
always motivation, any time somebody says anything negative or
tries to put a block in front of you," he said. "My mindset is
to always crush that block or go through it." ... The
Timberwolves' game against the San Antonio Spurs, originally
scheduled for Dec. 4 in Mexico City, has been rescheduled for
Tuesday, April 8 at 7 p.m. CT at Target Center in Minneapolis.
... The Sixers were without G Tony Wroten (flulike symptoms).
... Minnesota C Ronny Turiaf returned after missing the previous
31 games with a fractured right elbow. ... T-wolves F Luc
Richard Mbah a Moute sat out his second straight with a strained
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.