MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the slumping Philadelphia 76ers 106-99 on Wednesday night.
Ricky Rubio had 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds, Nikola Pekovic added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Robbie Hummel hit a couple of big shots for the Wolves in the fourth quarter to key the comeback.
Spencer Hawes had 20 points and six rebounds for the Sixers, who led 39-20 after a tremendous first quarter and still held a 13-point advantage at halftime. But they turned the ball over 26 times and shot 14 free throws to Minnesota’s 29.
Hummel scored all 10 of his points in the fourth, including a 3-pointer that started the deciding 13-3 run.
The Wolves still trailed 86-81 with less than 9:30 to go before Hummel buried a 3 to get them started. Pekovic scored six points during the run, including a soft baseline jumper from the burly Montenegrin that put them in front 89-86.
Tony Wroten had 20 points in yet another start for Sixers star rookie Michael Carter-Williams, who missed his fourth straight game with a sore right knee. James Anderson added 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Sixers were surprisingly competitive early in the season, winning their first three games and beating the Miami Heat in the opener to get new coach Brett Brown off to a roaring start. But the pains of rebuilding have gradually started to set in, and they slumped into Target Center having lost 11 of their previous 13 games and eight in a row on the road.
Perhaps taking the game for granted, the Wolves put together a lifeless performance in the first half, and the young Sixers pounced. They shot a staggering 77 percent in the first quarter, closing it on a 20-3 run. They scored 15 fast-break points and held Minnesota to 30 percent shooting to build the cushion.
Turner and Young attacked the rim for easy layup after easy layup and Hawes hit two 3s to spread the floor, catching the Wolves totally flat-footed.
Kevin Martin missed his first eight shots and the Wolves still trailed by 13 at halftime in a game they absolutely needed. The Wolves leave Thursday for a tough road trip to San Antonio, Memphis and Boston and also play Portland and at the Clippers and Lakers before Christmas.
They finally showed some signs of life to start the third quarter, opening with a 13-2 run and tying the game on a 3-pointer from Rubio late in the quarter.
Rubio also had three steals. The Wolves scored 27 points off those Philly turnovers to hold off the Sixers.
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