With Allen Iverson and Glenn Robinson sidelined with injuries, the Philadelphia 76ers are having trouble finding ways to get the ball in the basket. That problem could be exacerbated when the Sixers welcome the powerful Minnesota Timberwolves to the Wachovia Center.
With a playoff spot slipping further from its grasp, Philadelphia has lost four straight and six of eight. The Sixers are 11th in the Eastern Conference, two games behind Miami for the final postseason berth.
Missing both Iverson and Robinson, their top two scorers, the Sixers will likely have trouble gaining ground against the Timberwolves.
Iverson, the NBA’s second-leading scorer, has missed three straight games with a sore right shoulder, and Robinson missed Saturday’s 81-74 loss to the Indiana Pacers with a strained right elbow. The duo combines for nearly 36 percent of Philadelphia’s offense.
Neither made the trip to Indianapolis on Saturday as the Sixers suffered an 81-74 loss to the conference-leading Pacers.
Kenny Thomas, who had missed one game with a sprained right thumb, led the Sixers with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Willie Green added 16 points off the bench, but Philadelphia never found a rhythm on offense.
“It’s tough on the offensive end,” Sixers center Samuel Dalembert said. “We have to find a way to score points.”
Scoring points has not been much of a problem for Minnesota, which has won three straight and eight of nine. Kevin Garnett had 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists Friday to lead the Timberwolves to a 91-81 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Minnesota has now defeated every NBA team this season.
Sam Cassell, who returned to the lineup after missing one game with ankle tendinitis, scored 15 points in 29 minutes. Troy Hudson, who scored 29 points Wednesday in Cassell’s absence, had four points and seven assists. Hudson played most of the fourth quarter.
“I’m Troy’s biggest supporter,” Cassell said. “He helps keep us afloat and at the top. For me, it’s all about winning.”