A recent five-game homestand helped the Philadelphia 76ers to their longest winning streak of the season heading into the All-Star break. That run, however, ended in their first game back against a last-place team.

Philadelphia hopes a return to the Wachovia Center on Wednesday night against the New York Knicks can help it begin a new streak.

The 76ers (23-31) put together a five-game streak by sweeping a homestand before taking five days off for the All-Star game. They returned to action on the road Tuesday at league-worst Minnesota, where they were dealt a 104-88 loss.

The defeat kept them tied with Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, one game ahead of Chicago.

"We lost what we had before the All-Star break. Plain and simple," said forward Andre Iguodala, who had 17 points. "We have to try and get it back quick."

The Sixers, who are 14-14 at home, were outstanding defensively in their last five games at Wachovia, holding opponents to 84.8 points on 39.6 percent shooting. They failed to continue that success against the Timberwolves, who shot 49.4 percent.

Philadelphia seeks its first six-game home win streak since a seven-game run from Feb. 21-March 9.

The 76ers have won six straight at home against the Knicks (16-37), including a 101-90 victory on Dec. 7 before completing a sweep of the home-and-home series with a 105-77 win the following night. However, they dropped the last matchup at New York, 89-81 on Jan. 25.

The Knicks, who occupy last place Atlantic, are looking to close out a four-game road trip by building on a record-setting performance in a 113-100 overtime win at Washington on Tuesday. They set a team record with 23 points in the extra period to secure their second win in three games after enduring a season high-tying eight-game losing streak.

"I just think the first game after the All-Star break, it's a weird, crazy kind of basketball game," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "And fortunately for us, we came out on top."

Zach Randolph, averaging 17.4 points and a team-leading 10.2 boards, is looking to improve on another strong shooting display after going 9-for-18 for 24 points and 10 rebounds against the Wizards. That came after he shot 7-for-13 and finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds in a 111-103 loss at Boston last Wednesday.

Randolph had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the last meeting with the 76ers, but managed only six points and seven boards in his previous two games combined against them.


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