Minneapolis, MN – Nikola Pekovic scored 27 points and pulled down 18 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 94-87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
Derrick Williams added 17 points and eight rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko scored 15 points for the Timberwolves, who have won two of their last three games.
"It got very physical in the second half, but you have to play through it," said Wolves coach Rick Adelman. "Pekovic worked really hard, he had seven offensive rebounds and he was always around the basket and that's what we needed."
Evan Turner had 17 points and six rebounds and Jrue Holiday added 16 points five assists and five steals for the Sixers, losers in three straight and four of five.
"When you dig yourself that much of a hole in the first half it is kind of hard to come back," said Sixers forward Dorell Wright. "You just have to learn from your mistakes and get ready for the next fight."
Williams and Pekovic led the way for Minnesota in the first period, pouring in 10 and nine points, respectively. The Wolves shot better than 59 percent to take a 35-25 lead into the second quarter.
Minnesota kept its foot on the gas in the second, pushing the spread to 51-32 following Alexey Shved's 3-pointer and the hosts led 56-41 at the break.
Philadelphia opened the third period with a 10-4 flurry to pull within nine points, but Minnesota pushed the spread back to 17 with just under five minutes to go.
The Sixers, though, outscored the Wolves 10-2 the rest of the way to go into the final frame trailing 76-67.
Philadelphia cut the lead to 89-85 following a pair of Spencer Hawes free throws with 1:42 left, but was outscored 5-2 the rest of the way.
Ricky Rubio had 11 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Wolves ... The Sixers shot just 38.3 percent (31-for-81) from the field ... Damien Wilkins and Wright finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively, for Philadelphia.