Minnesota 100 at Philadelphia 111

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Iguodala triple-double helps 76ers down T’Wolves
Friday, Mar 4, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP)—When the final buzzer sounded, Andre Iguodala(notes) was swarmed by his teammates. The adoration was more than well-deserved.

Iguodala had 22 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double of the season, and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame another stellar effort from Kevin Love(notes) for a 111-100 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

“Dre was spectacular,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said simply.

Elton Brand(notes) scored 21 points and Thaddeus Young(notes) added 16 for the Sixers, who climbed back above .500 at 31-30. They currently hold the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks(notes) added 12 points each while Evan Turner(notes) had 10.

It was Iguodala who stole the spotlight.

“I was happy with the triple-double, but it was more important that we got the win,” said Iguodala, who now has six career triple-doubles. “We needed the win. Every win from here on out is important for us.”

The Timberwolves got 21 points and 23 rebounds from Kevin Love, the 10th time he’s had a 20-20 game this season. It was the 49th straight double-double for the All-Star forward and just two shy of tying Moses Malone’s 51-game streak set in 1978-79.

Love leads the league with 58 double-doubles.

“It’s amazing and it’s becoming mundane,” Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis said of Love. “He just keeps doing it over and over.”

The Timberwolves, who fell to 15-48 and 5-26 on the road, got a slight scare with 6:52 remaining in the third when Love collided with Brand and remained down on the floor holding his leg. After a few minutes, Love limped to the bench.

He didn’t miss any action and returned to the game following the timeout.

“I hurt my leg the other night against Detroit,” Love said. “I took a hard spill and banged my knee a little. But I was able to work it out.”

Rookie Nikola Pekovic(notes), in just his fifth career start, contributed 16 points, Michael Beasley(notes) added 15 and Luke Ridnour(notes) had 10 assists for Minnesota. Anthony Randolph(notes) chipped in 12 points while Lazar Hayward(notes) had 11.

Brand scored 17 of his points in the first half and seemed to be fine with a splint on his right hand. Brand dislocated his right pinky finger last Sunday in a victory at Cleveland and has needed the finger to be popped back into place at least two times over the past five days.

“I feel good,” Brand said. “I was more worried about getting my fourth foul than anything.”

The Sixers led 89-80 early in the fourth before the Timberwolves scored six straight—two baskets from Love and a layup by Beasley—to pull within 89-86 with 8:36 remaining. Hayward tied the game at 91 on a deep 3-pointer with 7:25 left and a buzz could be heard through the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. But the Sixers came right back with an 8-0 spurt—four points by Iguodala—for a 99-91 advantage.

Minnesota refused to go away quietly and closed within 101-100 when Wayne Ellington(notes) hit a tough 18-foot jumper with 2:47 left. Brand connected on consecutive short jumpers for a 105-100 lead with 1:02 remaining and the Sixers scored the final 10 points of the game. Ridnour missed a shot with 15 seconds left and the fans erupted when Iguodala grabbed his 10th rebound.

“Andre was amazing,” Brand said. “He did a great job and played sound in every area. He helped carry us.”

Notes: Wesley Johnson was a late subtraction from Minnesota’s starting lineup with gastroenteritis. Wayne Ellington got the start at guard instead. … C Darko Milicic(notes) (family matter) and G Sebastian Telfair(notes) (back) also missed the game for the Timberwolves. … The Sixers improved to 20-10 at home. … Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and defensemen Chris Pronger and Sean O’Donnell attended the game.

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