After taking care of the best team in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers would like to see any positive momentum carry over into a matchup with one of the NBA’s worst.
The 76ers will try to prevent a fifth consecutive loss and ninth in 10 games at the Target Center as they meet the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
Despite shooting just 35.4 percent and being outrebounded by 11, Philadelphia (25-28) defeated NBA-leading San Antonio 77-71 on Friday with a spectacular defensive effort. The 76ers held the Spurs to 33.3 percent and forced 16 turnovers.
Coach Doug Collins’ team, which is seventh in the Eastern Conference, was 0-4 when shooting less than 38.0 percent coming in.
“I think tonight was a solid game, one that we learned about ourselves, that we’re not making shots, try to give ourselves the opportunity to win the game playing solid defensively,” said Andre Iguodala(notes), who finished with seven points on 2-of-15 shooting.
Iguodala is averaging 19.7 points in his last seven games versus Minnesota, including a 24-point effort in a 119-97 home win on Feb. 9, 2010.
While his teammates had trouble scoring against the Spurs, Jrue Holiday(notes) stepped up with 27 points after averaging 7.0 in his previous six games. Holiday is second on the team in scoring with 13.8 per game this season.
Philadelphia has taken eight of 11 while holding teams to just 93.8 points. It’s won seven straight and is 17-5 when limiting opponents to 95.0 points or less.
The 76ers have allowed 104.5 points during a four-game road skid against the Timberwolves. Since 1995-96, they’ve gone 4-10 at Minnesota with all the wins coming by two points each.
Following victories on the first two stops of a three-game trip, short-handed Minnesota fell 116-105 at Indiana on Friday.
Playing without four of their top five scorers for the second consecutive game, the Timberwolves (13-40) took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter before being outscored 33-15.
“We just couldn’t find a way to get stops,” said coach Kurt Rambis. “It seems they always had a counter for us.”
Michael Beasley(notes) (19.9 points), Luke Ridnour(notes) (11.5), Martell Webster(notes) (10.5), and Darko Milicic(notes) (9.3) were all sidelined with injuries and are unlikely to be available Saturday.
Kevin Love(notes), averaging a team-high 21.4 points, increased his franchise record for consecutive double-doubles to 39 with 22 points and 15 rebounds. It’s the longest run since Moses Malone recorded 44 straight for Philadelphia during the 1982-1983 season.
Love is averaging 10.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in three career games versus the 76ers.