Wolves Topped by 76ers

Sixers 111 (31-30) - Timberwolves 100 (15-48) | Wells Fargo Center

Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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How it happened:
Trailing 85-78 heading into the fourth quarter, the Wolves rallied with a 13-6 run to pull even at the 7:20 mark after a Lazar Hayward 3-pointer. Sixers head coach Doug Collins instantly called a timeout and his squad responded by scoring the next seven points while Andre Iguodala put the exclamation point on the burst with a fastbreak slam.

Wayne Ellington filled in for rookie Wes Johnson, who was absent due to an illness. The second-year shooting guard out of Philadelphia warmed up towards the end of the contest and drilled a 3-pointer before hitting another long jumper, narrowing Philadelphia’s lead to 101-100 with 2:33 remaining in the game. Unfortunately, the Wolves could not leap over the Sixers and suffered a 111-100 road loss.

Iguodala was dominant in the second half, scoring 16 of his 22 points and consistently penetrating the Minnesota defense for easy buckets or quick dishes to his teammates. Elton Brand added 21 points as Philadelphia improved to 31-30 on the season and swept the series this year against the Wolves.

“The guys did a really good job at both ends of the floor for real big chunks of the game but there were periods of turning the basketball over. We didn’t lock-in on defense, we stopped moving the basketball, and that kind of got us out of our rhythm and allowed them to get some confidence. I thought we got off to a good start, eventually got ourselves back in the ball game and they swung things in their favor. We had a chance to win but couldn’t find a way to get stops at the end of the ball game.” – head coach Kurt Rambis

Leader of the Pack:
Kevin Love continues his remarkable trek through the 2010-11 season and tonight, the All-Star delivered 21 points and 23 rebounds for his 49th consecutive double-double. The Minnesota power forward is now two double-doubles shy of Moses Malone’s 51-game streak set during the 1978-79 season and he also registered his 10th 20/20 game of the year.

The Numbers Game:
After an 11-4 start to the game, Minnesota’s drought in the second quarter forced the team into an uphill battle. The Sixers took control with an 18-8 run over the last 6:30 of the second period and cruised into the locker room with a 56-49 lead.

Rookie Report:
Darko Milicic missed his second straight game with a personal matter, providing another start for rookie Nikola Pekovic at the center position. Pekovic fell into a nice groove in the third quarter and finished with a career-high 16 points in 13 minutes.

Highlight to Remember:
In the midst of the Wolves run, Jonny Flynn danced around the perimeter before finding Michael Beasley cutting backdoor. Flynn quickly whipped a one-handed bounce bass to Beasley for the wide open deuce. Beasley’s bucket trimmed the deficit to just three points with 8:36 remaining in the final stanza.

Looking Ahead:
Directly after the defeat in Philadelphia, the Wolves made a quick jaunt to Washington D.C. The 15-45 Wizards await Minnesota for a Saturday night matchup at 7 PM. The Wolves topped Washington in the first meeting 109-97 at the Target Center on January 13.

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jonah on Twitter.