NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, January 6th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Timberwolves (16-17) at Philadelphia 76ers (12-21), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia 76ers return home from a successful road trip Monday night when they welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Wells Fargo Center.
After starting their six-game excursion with back-to-back losses to run their road losing streak to 13, the Sixers finished their sojourn with four consecutive victories.
"It's a team that's growing," head coach Brett Brown told the team's website after a 101-99 win over the Trail Blazers on Saturday. "We've always had an identity with pace and offense, but we're slowly finding an identity within defense, too ... I attribute this West Coast trip to that, solely."
During the four-game winning streak, the Sixers have allowed an average of 102.2 points per game. That isn't tremendous, but when you consider that Philly surrendered 124 points per game over the previous five, it's major improvement.
Thaddeus Young poured in a game-high 30 points Saturday as the 76ers held on to beat Portland. Evan Turner finished with 23 points and Michael Carter- Williams scored 16 to go with nine rebounds. Carter-Williams got hit in the head at the end of the game, but is expected to play Monday.
The Sixers head to Cleveland on Tuesday, then play their next four at home.
The Wolves have dropped two of three, all at home.
On Saturday, Kevin Durant highlighted his 48-point night by hitting the go- ahead jumper with 4.0 seconds left that lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 115-111 come-from-behind victory over the Timberwolves.
Minnesota had a chance for the win when Kevin Love was fouled by Kendrick Perkins on a 3-point attempt with 2.2 seconds remaining, but missed the first two foul shots before an intentional miss failed to hit the rim.
"We had three free throws to put us ahead, and two to tie it. It is just one of those things that happens. It happens to the best of players," said T'Wolves coach Rick Adelman.
Love finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, while Nikola Pekovic amassed 31 points and 11 boards for Minnesota. Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer had 17 and 15 points, respectively, in the loss.
Saturday's contest was the sixth game Minnesota has lost this year when leading or tied after three and the Wolves tumbled to 0-9 in games decided by four points or fewer.
Minnesota has won four straight against the Sixers, but is just 3-8 in its last 11 in Philly.
01/06 10:37:09 ET