Wolves Suffer Loss to Sixers


76ers 107 (26-28) - Timberwolves 87 (13-41) | Target Center



Jonah Ballow
Wolves Editor/Writer

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How it happened:
The Wolves offense completely stalled in the second quarter and the squad could not regain the rhythm displayed during the first 12 minutes of play. Philadelphia's group of long and athletic wings caused mismatches while lifting the Sixers to a dominating 107-87 victory over Minnesota at the Target Center on Saturday night.

Only connecting on 29.2 percent of their attempts from the field and a frigid 1-for-7 behind the arc, the Wolves managed 18 points in the second period. At the end of the first, Minnesota held a 32-28 advantage but Philadelphia stormed back with a 16-1 run in the middle of the second quarter and seized control of the game by not allowing the Wolves to hit a field goal in six and a half minutes.

Head coach Kurt Rambis pointed to the lack of ball movement as a key issue in tonight's loss. Minnesota's 15 assists were a prime example of the discombobulated offense that posted 13 fourth quarter points. The Sixers deserve credit for another impressive outing following their surprising 77-71 win last night against San Antonio. As one of the hottest teams in the league, Philadelphia has now won eight of its last 11 games and improved to 26-28 on the season.

Quotable:
"I just don't think that we had the energy that it takes to get the job done. There were a lot of times when the ball wasn't moving again. Whenever it gets stuck and the ball's not moving properly, then it doesn't find the open guy. That's what made them successful. You see how they just snap the ball around and get the ball to open people. That's the way we would like to play. But whenever the ball is held because someone wants to try and create something on their own...as soon as that happens you know it's not going to be good for us." -- Rambis

Leader of the Pack:
Just about every game, Kevin Love finds a spot in this category but tonight the honor goes to point guard Luke Ridnour. After missing the Wolves last six games due to personal reasons, Ridnour returned to action tonight and contributed 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench. He showed no signs of rust in running the Minnesota offense and dished out five dimes in his first time back on the floor since January 29.

Notable Performance:
Love led all Wolves scorers with 16 points and grabbed a team-high 13 boards. The third-year All-Star now owns a streak of 40 consecutive games with a double-double, just four shy of Moses Malone mark set in the 1982-83 season.

Highlight to Remember:
Early in the first quarter with Minnesota leading 11-6, the Sixers Jrue Holiday had a surefire open opportunity at the rim before Nikola Pekovic quickly rotated from the weak side for an massive swat. Pekovic recorded three blocked shots while replacing Darko Milicic in the starting lineup.

Rookie Report:
Wes Johnson struggled from the floor, only shooting 2-for-10 and finishing with six points. The Wolves rookie faced the No. 2 overall pick Evan Turner, who scored nine off the bench, floating between the shooting guard and small forward spot.

Looking Ahead:
The Wolves will only have one day to regroup before hosting the Blazers on Monday night at the Target Center. Portland enters the contest off a back-to-back, squaring off against the Pistons on Sunday evening before traveling to Minneapolis.


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