But Kirilenko held Turner to one point in the fourth quarter and Minnesota made its free throws down the stretch, overcoming a dreadful period of shooting in which the Wolves made one field goal. It was enough to beat the offensively inept Sixers, who missed 11 free throws to lose their third straight game.
Both teams have put together incredibly disappointing seasons to this point after starting with playoff aspirations. The Sixers made a trade for Andrew Bynum but have yet to get him in a game this season because of recurring knee issues. He said earlier this week that he still hoped to play this year, but he's still a week or two away from his first practice. By the time he gets back on the floor, the 76ers could be buried. They started the night four games behind Milwaukee for the eighth playoff spot in the muddled Eastern Conference.
The Sixers won't get any sympathy from the Timberwolves, who have played most of the season without Kevin Love (broken hand), Chase Budinger (knee) and Brandon Roy (knee) and have slogged through a multitude of other short-term injuries to fade from contention in the West. They staggered into the All-Star break with 16 losses in 19 games, a season of playing short-handed certainly catching up to them.
"We have a chance," Rubio said. "It's a small, small chance."
NOTES: Only Sacramento and Washington have fewer wins on the road than Philly. ... Wilkins finished with 13 points. ... Pekovic stayed in Minnesota for the All-Star break rather than seek out the sun and the sand as so many of his teammates did. He went ice fishing on a nearby lake, and Collins went up to him before the game and playfully asked him why he wasn't invited. "I went to Arizona instead," Collins said