MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thaddeus Young led seven 76ers in double figures with 18 points and Philadelphia cruised to a 107-87 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
Andre Iguodala had 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds, and Louis Williams had 13 points and five assists for the 76ers (26-28), who have won nine of their last 12 games to creep into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Kevin Love had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves, his 40th consecutive double-double. But the Wolves shot just 36 percent to lose their second straight after surprising road wins against New Orleans and Houston.
Elton Brand had 12 points and nine rebounds, Jodie Meeks scored 16 points and the unselfish Sixers shot 51 percent while committing just nine turnovers against one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
Luke Ridnour had 13 points and five assists in his first game for Minnesota since Jan. 29. He missed six games to deal with a family issue.
The Wolves were playing without Michael Beasley for the third straight game because of a sprained ankle and also were missing starting center Darko Milicic and reserve swingman Martell Webster (back). They sorely missed Beasley, their most dynamic offensive player, against Philadelphia’s hard-nosed defense.
The Sixers came into Target Center on quite a roll, buoyed by a 77-71 win against San Antonio on Friday night that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said “set offensive basketball back a decade or so.”
Coach Doug Collins beamed at the ugly victory, elated by the defensive effort against the best team in the league. But he wasn’t too happy with how things started Saturday night.
Philly picked up right where it left off, missing six of its first nine shots and blowing a four-on-one fast break in the early going. The Sixers eventually settled in against one of the worst defensive teams in the league, crisply moving the ball to get easy looks.
They outscored Minnesota 20-3 during a second-quarter surge to take an 11-point lead.
The Timberwolves closed the period on a 7-0 run and trailed by four at halftime, but some familiar problems resurfaced in the third quarter as the game slipped away. The ball movement was nonexistent, the turnovers came in bunches and defense was an afterthought as the Sixers pulled away.
NOTES: Philadelphia’s Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick, has had a quiet rookie season. But he made an impact against the Wolves with nine points, eight rebounds and four assists. … Beasley said before the game he hoped to play on Monday against Portland. … Webster missed his fifth straight game because of back spasms, but planned to practice on Sunday.
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