Originally posted on Philly Sports Live  |  Last updated 2/19/12
Love84034369

Kevin Love scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws with 0.1 seconds, to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 92-91 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

With the Target Center crowd standing and roaring, Love drove to the basket with his head down and tempted Andre Iguodala to reach in and try to swipe the ball away. The whistle sounded, Love walked to the line and calmly swished both shots. He also had 15 rebounds after starting the game 3 for 16 from the floor.

Ricky Rubio had a career-high 22 points to go with six rebounds and five assists. His backup, J.J. Barea, added 14 points to help offset another strong game by Jrue Holiday of the Sixers. Holiday had 20 points on 10-for-20 shooting, plus five rebounds and three steals.

Neither team led by more than one over the final 6½ minutes. Love, who had only six points at halftime, drained a 3-pointer down the stretch and hit a 21-footer with less than a minute to go to push the Wolves to a 90-89 lead.

Thaddeus Young answered on the other end for the Sixers with a jumper from the wing, and Love missed a 3-pointer.

Lou Williams, who got it going in the second half after Philadelphia’s leading scorer attempted only three shots before the break, tried a crossover step-back jumper from the top of the key with Martell Webster in his face that rimmed out. Love grabbed the rebound with less than 4 seconds left, setting up the final possession.

Nikola Pekovic had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves (16-16), who notched their third three-game winning streak of the season to move back to the .500 mark. They play at Denver on Monday night, starting a stretch of 16 out of 23 games on the road. Coach Rick Adelman shortened his rotation to eight again, and the Pekovic-Love starting lineup improved to 6-3 on the season.

Sixers coach Doug Collins spoke about how “exceptionally proud” he’s been of his team during this difficult month on the schedule, encouraging the players to keep the positive energy they created earlier in the season despite four losses in their previous six games.

Still in command of the Atlantic Division, the Sixers (20-12) played seven of their past nine games against some of the toughest teams in the NBA, including a loss on Friday night to defending champion Dallas. This is their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Collins has been pushing Holiday to assert himself more offensively rather than being so focused on getting all his teammates involved, and the third-year point guard tried to do that, taking 10 shots in the first half. It looked as if Rubio, who is fast becoming one of the NBA’s premiere pass-first point guards, was listening in on the other team’s pep talk judging by the first half.

He had a scorer’s mentality over the first 24 minutes for sure, helping the Wolves dig out of an 18-7 deficit early with a tying 3-pointer late in the first quarter. He also reached the free throw line six times, making all six.

The floppy-haired rookie went back to distribution mode after halftime, assisting on each of Minnesota’s first four baskets and setting up Pekovic inside for a potential fifth, but the big guy got fouled.

With Love and Pekovic playing together now in the post, the Wolves are even more of a handful for anyone to keep away from rebounds, putbacks and soft hook shots around the basket. They spent much of the third quarter attacking inside and parading to the foul line, but they were unable to build any more than a brief one or two-point lead against the Sixers and their rugged, active defense.

Philadelphia leads the league with an average of less than 88 points allowed per game.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marshawn Lynch suspended one game for contact with official

Report: Rockets fear Chris Paul could miss a month with knee injury

15 key questions for NFL Week 7

Vin Scully will not make appearance during World Series

Leonard Fournette still not practicing ahead of Week 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dusty Baker calls Nationals dismissal ‘hard to understand’

Draymond Green feels ‘big relief’ that knee injury was minor

Bradford ruled out of Week 7, expected to play again in 2017

NFL on Ezekiel Elliott: ‘We’re not looking to make a deal’

Brad Stevens: Hayward 'pretty positive' following surgery

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly ruled out for Week 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker