The Minnesota Timberwolves overcame a 19-point deficit in the first quarter, then took their first lead with 8:27 to go in the fourth quarter and managed to hold on for a comeback win at Target Center.
It was the largest deficit since coming back 21 down to defeat the New York Knicks on November 12, 2010 — also the night of Kevin Love‘s 31 and 31.
Minnesota overcame a slow start and poor shooting with defense and big rebounds as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 106-99, on Wednesday night. Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists. There have been five 25 points, 15 rebound, five-assist games in the league this season, all by Love. And Love owns seven of the league’s 17 25 point, 15 rebound games.
Nikola Pekovic added 20 points and 10 rebounds and Ricky Rubio had 21 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Kevin Martin was 0-for-7 in the first half but finished with five points on 1-for-9 shooting
Philadelphia had a quick start that included a 16-0 run— and nine of those 16 came from James Anderson. Spencer Hawes and Tony Wroten each scored 20 for the Sixers and Evan Turner scored 13 points for the night.
“I told them that you shouldn’t have to say anything after the way we started the game. You have to learn a lesson that when you get a nice win last night it means nothing tonight. You’d better understand that if you want to build anything, get a streak going. Night after night you have to come out and play.” Said Coach Rick Adelman about the way the Wolves played, “We are lucky. We are lucky that they got 39 points, that they went up 19 in the first quarter …Usually it’s hard to have that happen and win the game. We got the win, but hopefully we learned a lesson.”
Minnesota shot 38.5 percent from the floor, which was 14 percent worse than the Sixers, who shot 52.7 percent. But Minnesota ended up with 22 more field goal attempts than Philadelphia, in large part to their 17-5 advantage in offensive rebounds, and Philadelphia committing 26 turnovers helped a lot as well.
After trailing for the entire game, it was Minnesota’s much maligned bench (and maligned for a reason) that provided the spark. They went on an 8-0 run in the early minutes of the fourth quarter and that gave Minnesota their first lead of the game with 8:27 to play when Robbie Hummel hit a 3-pointer from the left corner. The starters came in and iced the game with the third of Rubio’s three steals coming at an opportune time with 1:12 to play and the Sixers trying to make it a one possession game.