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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, January 7th (All times eastern)

Philadelphia 76ers (15-16) at Minnesota Timberwolves (16-14), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The vastly improved Philadelphia 76ers try to end their season-long eight-game road trip on a high note this evening, when they take on the scuffling Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.

Philadelphia has been quite impressive on its tough road swing so far, winning five of seven contests to improve to 8-10 in foreign buildings for the year. The 76ers posted a 106-99 victory over the Jazz at the Delta Center on Wednesday night.

Kenny Thomas poured in a season-high 30 points to lead Philadelphia to the victory. Flu-ridden Allen Iverson chipped in 23 points and dished out nine assists for the Sixers in the victory, while center Marc Jackson came off the bench and finished with 14 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

Thomas has scored in double-digits in three straight games. He is averaging 21 points and 5.3 rebounds in that span.

John Salmons, who received his second straight start, registered nine points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal. Salmons is now starting in front of Aaron McKie and Willie Green.

The Sixers won at Utah for the first time since Dec. 26, 2000. Philadelphia had dropped 14 of 15 on the road against the Jazz.

Minnesota has hit the skids with four straight losses, including a disappointing 102-84 defeat to the expansion Charlotte Bobcats at Charlotte Arena. Kevin Garnett had 23 points and 20 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost eight of 11.

Sam Cassell added 20 points and six assists, but left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury and when he returned late in the fourth didn't score another point. Wally Szczerbiak recorded 13 points in the defeat.

The Timberwolves had 17 turnovers that led to 29 Charlotte points.

The Timberwolves, who have three of their next four games at home, have tallied just an 8-5 mark at the Target Center. Minnesota hasn't lost five consecutive games since a seven-game losing streak in March, 2002.

Minnesota registered a 119-84 shellacking of the Sixers at the Wachovia Center on Dec. 8. The Timberwolves have won three of the last four meetings in the series, including three straight home contests.

01/07 10:20:03 ET

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