Carter-Williams leads 76ers past Timberwolves 103-94
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Carter-Williams had a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 103-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night in a matchup of two of the league's worst teams.
Luc Mbah a Moute had a team-high 18 points, and Nerlens Noel and Robert Covington chipped in 14 apiece for the 76ers, who won consecutive games for the third time this season while snapping a streak of 23 straight games without reaching 100 points.
Kevin Martin had 19 points in his second game back after missing 34 due to a fractured right wrist to lead the Timberwolves, who were trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season.
Philadelphia used a 10-1 run to start the fourth quarter, capped by Covington's 3-pointer from the right baseline with 8 minutes, 20 seconds remaining, to take its largest lead, 88-78.
Minnesota committed five of its 21 turnovers during the pivotal stretch.
The Timberwolves responded with seven straight points, five of which came from Andrew Wiggins, to pull within 88-85 on Martin's 17-footer with 6:45 left. But Minnesota wouldn't get closer the rest of the way in a forgettable fourth quarter in which they shot 7-for-21 while committing nine turnovers.
The loss got the Timberwolves closer to the greatest chance of winning the NBA lottery for the right to pick first in the draft, dropping to a league-worst 8-38. Philadelphia improved to 10-37. Twenty teams began Friday with more wins than the combined total (17) of the 76ers and Timberwolves. But both teams were coming off rare victories on Wednesday, with Philadelphia routing Detroit 89-69 and the Timberwolves topping Boston 110-98.
Philadelphia improved to 2-0 against the Timberwolves this season. The 76ers avoided tying an NBA record for losses to start a season with their 87-77 victory at Minnesota on Dec. 3 that made them 1-17.
The contest marked the return of Thaddeus Young to Philadelphia. A 2007 first-round pick of the 76ers, Young played seven seasons in Philadelphia before being traded in the offseason. Young had 10 points and seven boards.
Nikola Pekovic had 18 points and Wiggins scored 15 for Minnesota. Martin, who scored 21 points on Wednesday, said before the game he thought it might take until the summer before he has full range of motion although he feels he can play at a high level now.
Minnesota returns home Saturday night to host Kevin Love and the Cavaliers. Love, who was traded to Cleveland in the offseason after six standout seasons in Minnesota in the deal that brought 2014 top pick Wiggins to the Timberwolves, makes his first return to Minnesota as a member of the Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Timberwolves: Coach Flip Saunders said before the game that he hoped guard Ricky Rubio would return to the lineup next week, possibly as early as Monday against the Mavericks. Rubio hasn't played since injuring his left ankle Nov. 7. ... Mo Williams (hip) missed his second straight game. Williams sat out Wednesday due to personal reasons. ... The last time the Timberwolves visited Philadelphia, they recorded the franchise's second-largest margin of victory with a 126-95 rout of the 76ers on Jan. 6, 2014.
76ers: Philadelphia greeted Young with three framed Sixers jerseys upon his arrival in the visitor's locker room. ... The 76ers will vie for their first three-game winning streak of the season in Atlanta on Saturday night.
Timberwolves: Host Cavaliers on Saturday night.
76ers: Visit Hawks on Saturday night.
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