Minnesota (6-9) at Philadelphia (5-10)

Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 56° F
  • Game info: 6:00 pm EST Sun Dec 3, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Kevin Garnett and Allen Iverson are off to their usual strong starts. Unfortunately, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers haven’t followed along.

The Timberwolves and Sixers each will try to avoid matching season-highs of four straight losses when the two teams meet at the Wachovia Center on Sunday.

Garnett can tie his own club record of 338 consecutive games scoring in double figures Sunday—the eighth-longest run in NBA history. The 12th-year forward scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds in the Timberwolves’ 106-92 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Garnett is tied for the league lead with 13 double-doubles this season and has 554 in his career. However, Garnett alone has not been able to save Minnesota (6-9) from losing nine of their last 13 games after a 2-0 start.

After Garnett’s 21.5 points per game, no other Minnesota player is averaging more than 14 points a game. Veterans Ricky Davis (14.0 ppg), Mike James (11.2 ppg) and Mark Blount (10.7 ppg) have struggled to complement Garnett on a consistent basis this season.

Davis scored 21 points and James had 17 Friday, but Minnesota missed 14 of 23 shots in the third quarter.

“We didn’t bring it,” Minnesota coach Dwane Casey said. “We had two days of spirited practice and we didn’t have it in the game.”

The Timberwolves have scored more than 100 points just four times this season and average 92.1 points a game. Only defending champion Miami with 91.7 ppg is averaging less.

Despite Minnesota’s struggles, Casey believes the team can turn things around.

“With NBA players, I don’t think you lose your confidence,” Casey said. “I think the whole thing is your focus and your energy, the aggressiveness you bring to the table. I don’t think of anything skill-wise that we didn’t bring to the table.”

Philadelphia (5-10) rallied late but lost 112-107 at New Jersey on Saturday.

Iverson, one of the NBA’s top scorers at 32.1 points per game, scored 37 points to top the 30-point mark for the fourth straight game.

Iverson, who was fined by the 76ers for skipping a team bowling event Wednesday because of the effects of medicine he was taking after having two abscessed teeth pulled, shot 11-for-25 and made all 15 of his free throws.

Despite another big individual night for Iverson, the all-star guard is fighting to hide his frustration with a team that has lost 10 of 12 since starting 3-0.

“I just have to get back to having fun out there,” Iverson said. “It’s tough so far. We have a 5-10 record and, at times, things are getting real frustrating and it’s coming into the game.

“It’s hard to play basketball when you are not having fun, because it’s a fun game and it’s something I want to do everyday of my life.”

Forward Chris Webber returned after missing six games with a bad back and finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Rookie Rodney Carney scored a career-high 20 in his first NBA start.

The Sixers could be without reserve forward Kyle Korver for a second straight game Saturday with a sprained left ankle. Korver, who’s averaging 13.3 ppg, had his string of 205 consecutive games played snapped Saturday.

The 76ers will be glad to return home after losing their sixth straight on the road Saturday. Philadelphia will look to improve to 4-2 at home.

Philadelphia swept season series from Minnesota last season. Iverson had 39 points and nine rebounds in an 86-84 win over Minnesota on Jan. 22.

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Sunday, Dec 3