MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Down 19 at home to the struggling Philadelphia 76ers, the Minnesota Timberwolves' season had reached a bit of crossroads as the second quarter opened.
With a brutal trip awaiting, the Wolves simply couldn't afford to drop this one. So they rolled up their sleeves and started chipping away, and the young Sixers let them right back in it.
Kevin Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists and the Timberwolves got solid contributions from their beleaguered bench to beat the 76ers 106-99 on Wednesday night.
"It took us a long time to get into it," coach Rick Adelman said. "But then into the second quarter, into the second half, we just kind of gradually got a rhythm going and took control and they stopped."
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.
"It showed the second unit can step up and can score," said Love, who racked up his fifth game this season with at least 25 points, 15 boards and five assists. No other player has done it once. "So I guess this was a character builder for us."
Spencer Hawes had 20 points and six rebounds for the Sixers, who led 39-20 after a tremendous first quarter and had 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 grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to offset 38.5 percent shooting.
"We just had stats that were too insurmountable," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "It's hard to make those types of deficits up on the road against a good team."
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.