Philadelphia (20-27) at Minnesota (32-13)

  • Game info: 2:00 pm EST Sun Feb 1, 2004
  • TV: ESPN, FSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The red-hot Minnesota Timberwolves look to continue their two-month roll through the NBA as they host the Philadelphia 76ers.

The first-place Timberwolves, winners of 23 of their last 28 games, play five of their next six at home.

Minnesota earned a 97-84 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, as Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett overpowered a depleted Lakers lineup.

Sprewell scored 35 points, Cassell added 28 points and 11 assists, and Garnett had 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Minnesota rallied to win after playing a sluggish first half and falling behind 44-35 at the break.

“At halftime, we weren’t happy with the way we were playing. We were getting on each other,” Sprewell said.

The Wolves improved the NBA’s best road record to 17-8 by outscoring the Lakers 32-18 in the fourth quarter. Cassell had 16 points and made all eight of his free throws in the final period.

“We can correct ourselves. Our coaches don’t have to say a lot,” Cassell said. “Spree went on a tear. I came in after that and did what I did. We’re learning how to win on the road.”

Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak with an 85-82 win over New Orleans on Friday night. Aaron McKie, who had hit a jumper to tie the game, knocked down the winning shot with 7.1 seconds remaining.

“We were just saying, ‘Let’s go win this,”’ McKie said. “That’s basketball. That’s fun. You go out there and just grind it out, scratch and claw and just play.”

Allen Iverson returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sprained finger. He had 23 first-half points, the last two coming on a reverse layup that put the Sixers ahead 55-44 at halftime.

“I think you saw the importance of having Allen back in the lineup and playing at a high level,” Philadelphia coach Randy Ayers said. “He just took everybody with him tonight.”

Iverson finished with 31 points and eight assists.

STANDINGS (through Jan. 30): 76ers - 4th place (tied), 5 1/2 GB, Atlantic Division. Timberwolves - 1st place (tied), Midwest Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: 76ers - F Glenn Robinson, F Kenny Thomas, C Samuel Dalembert, G Eric Snow, G Iverson. Timberwolves - F Garnett, F Sprewell, C Ervin Johnson, G Trenton Hassell, G Cassell.

TEAM LEADERS: 76ers - Iverson, 27.3 ppg; Thomas, 9.4 rpg; Snow, 7.2 apg. Timberwolves - Garnett, 24.3 ppg and 14.0 rpg; Cassell, 7.5 apg.

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: 1-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 2, 2003; Timberwolves, 99-91. At Minneapolis, Garnett had 30 points and 17 rebounds as Minnesota won its eighth straight home game. Iverson had 21 points on 7-for-23 shooting for the 76ers, who shot 39 percent from the field.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: 76ers - 9-15 on the road; Timberwolves - 15-5 at home.

INJURIES: 76ers - F-C Derrick Coleman (finger); C Todd MacCulloch (foot); C Marc Jackson (finger). Timberwolves - C Michael Olowokandi (knee); F Wally Szczerbiak (foot).

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Team Stat Leaders

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