Timberwolves-76ers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 03, 2012
The Minnesota Timberwolves appear close to getting one of their top players back from injury, but likely not soon enough to help end their struggles in Philadelphia. To win two straight for the first time in almost a month, the Wolves must snap a four-game road skid against the 76ers on Tuesday night. Kevin Love has averaged 21.7 points and 15.3 rebounds in six games since missing the first nine with a broken hand, but Minnesota (7-8) is 2-4 with him in the lineup. That's partly because injuries to Chase Budinger (knee), Andrei Kirilenko (back) and Brandon Roy (knee) have made it hard for the Timberwolves to make consistent strides, but the team could be in for some good news. Second-year guard Ricky Rubio completed his first extensive practice in nearly nine months Sunday and appears close to returning from a torn ACL that forced him to miss the final 25 games last season. "I felt pretty good, but I want to be perfect," said Rubio, who averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds as a rookie. "Until I'm feeling great and nothing at all about my knee, I'm not going to play." It's likely Rubio won't be on the court for this contest or Wednesday in Boston, but his progress is a big boost for a club that has won two of three since a five-game skid. Love played through a stomach bug to post 15 points and 14 rebounds, Nikola Pekovic scored 14 with 16 boards and rookie guard Alexey Shved added 16 points and five assists in Friday's 95-85 win over Milwaukee. Though the Timberwolves shot 39.1 percent, they held the Bucks to 36.6 percent from the field and outrebounded them 56-47. After scoring 17 in a 101-95 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, Shved (10.4 ppg) stepped up in the fourth quarter against the Bucks, scoring 10 points and recording two steals. "That guy has no filter out there, he just plays," Love said. "He seems like such a shy guy, but when he gets out there, it's a whole different person." In order to win two in a row for the first time since a three-game run Nov. 5-9, the Timberwolves might need another strong effort from the Russian reserve Tuesday in Philadelphia, where Minnesota has lost its last four by an average of 11.2 points. Love had 21 points and 23 rebounds in a 111-100 defeat in the Timberwolves' last visit March 4, 2011. Philadelphia (10-7) has averaged 100.7 points while winning five of six at home, but it returns after its three-game overall winning streak ended with Saturday's 93-88 loss at Chicago. Jrue Holiday had 23 points with seven assists and Thaddeus Young scored 22, but the 76ers were outrebounded 50-37 and went 3 of 12 from 3-point range while failing to reach 100 points for the first time in five games. "I thought our guys played hard," coach Doug Collins said. "If we play hard like that all the time we'll find a way to scratch a game out." Holiday has averaged 21.8 points on 53.0 percent shooting and 10.5 assists in his last four games. He scored 20 in a 92-91 loss at Minnesota last season, but has totaled 15 points in two home games against the Timberwolves.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Celtics reportedly discussing Kevin Love trade

New York Giants to pursue Matt Forte?

Joe Mauer to try wearing sunglasses to improve pitch tracking

Charles Woodson joining ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown' team

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury


Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Why the Virginia Cavaliers are a National Championship contender

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

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 Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker