Timberwolves 104, 76ers 102, OT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—With 3.3 seconds on the clock and the game tied in overtime, Kevin Garnett had one thing on his mind—slow down.
After missing the potential game-winner at the end of regulation, Garnett hit a 15-footer with Samuel Dalembert’s hand in his face as the buzzer sounded in overtime to lift the Timberwolves to a 104-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
“Right before overtime, I told myself when I had the shot that I rushed it a little bit,” Garnett said. “I had to take my time.”
Garnett finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds, and Trenton Hassell tied a career high with 22 points for the Wolves, who won their third game in a row and sixth of their last eight.
With the game tied at 96 in regulation, Garnett missed a fallaway baseline jumper at the buzzer that would have given the Wolves the win. But he came right back in overtime, dropping a baby hook and a 22-foot jumper to give the Wolves a 102-100 lead with 1:02 to go.
“It came out and left too much time on the clock,” Iguodala said of his miss. “That was on me, I think I should have just let the clock run out and they wouldn’t have had an opportunity to score.”
When the game-winner fell, it was some vindication for Garnett, who has been criticized during his 12 years for disappearing late in game.
“I hear so much (grief) about not taking games over,” he griped.
Foye had 11 points and 10 assists for the Wolves.
Kyle Korver had 25 points and Iguodala had 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Philadelphia in the final game of a grueling seven-game road trip.
The only team in the last 50 years to play 22 of its first 33 games of the season away from home, Philadelphia showed plenty of fight.
“We got down nine points in the fourth quarter with like 3 or 4 minutes left, and we fought our way back, giving ourselves a chance to win the game,” Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. “So, the effort that we put on the floor was tremendous. We just have to learn to finish those games.”
The Timberwolves led 90-82 after Hassell hit a high-arcing jumper from the baseline to cap a 10-0 run with just over 6 minutes to go.
Philly came right back, with Iguodala dunking and then getting a transition layup to tie the game at 94 with 1:30 to play.
The Sixers led 100-98 in overtime after a pair of free throws by Andre Miller, but just missed out on improving to 5-5 since trading Iverson to Denver last month. They were 5-18 with Iverson.
“I think we have to make it a collective group effort,” Iguodala said. “Kyle stepped up big tonight. Sam played pretty good defense on Kevin tonight. They just had some other guys step up, like Trenton Hassell. He was huge for them tonight. Randy Foye played great. They just played a better game.”
It was a matchup of two teams that were closely linked in mid-December during the Iverson sweepstakes.
The Timberwolves made a heavy push for AI, but in the end did not have the expiring contracts or the first-round draft picks the Sixers coveted. So Philly made the deal with the Nuggets, acquiring Joe Smith, two first-round picks and Miller—who had 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds—for Iverson and Ivan McFarlin.
The Sixers really wanted Foye in any deal involving Minnesota, but Wolves basketball boss Kevin McHale was reluctant to include the promising rookie in any offering.
The NBA rookie of the month for December showed plenty of grit in the fourth quarter, scoring on a drive and a then a pretty one-handed scoop to give Minnesota an 80-79 lead with 9:27 to go.
“My first double-double,” Foye said. “That felt good.”
Webber missed his fifth straight game with a bruised right foot. Cheeks said the team is being cautious to make sure he doesn’t return too soon. … Wolves F Marko Jaric played with a splint on his right thumb. He had an MRI that revealed no ligament damage, only a sprain, coach Dwane Casey said. … Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan was in attendance.