Timberwolves hand 76ers fourth straight loss

Monday, December 4th 2006, 6:35 am
By: News On 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The Minnesota Timberwolves didn't even need Kevin Garnett in the fourth quarter.

The way Ricky Davis and Mike James were taking turns knocking down clutch shots against the Philadelphia 76ers, Minnesota's superstar hardly had to worry about making a contribution.

Davis scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Garnett added 15 points and 14 rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 95-84 win over Philadelphia on Sunday night.

``We knew coming into the fourth we wanted to make a bigger push, take the lead and be aggressive,'' said Garnett, who didn't score in the final period.

Minnesota did all three, and the Sixers were left with their fourth straight loss.

In other NBA games, it was: Charlotte 97, Detroit 89; the Los Angeles Clippers 116, Orlando 91; and Atlanta 107, Portland 96.

James and Davis combined to lead the Timberwolves' push, combining to score 23 of Minnesota's 27 fourth-quarter points to help them get a road win for only the third time in nine games. James finished with 20 points and made three 3-pointers in the quarter.

``When someone comes up and plays big in the fourth, that's what we need,'' Davis said.

The Sixers had no answer down the stretch after a tight first three quarters.

Allen Iverson, fined last week for skipping a bowling event, led the Sixers with 26 points. Samuel Dalembert had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Chris Webber 11 points and nine rebounds. The Sixers have lost 11 of 13 since starting the season 3-0.

``I don't have any answers for what's going on,'' Iverson said. ``We're not having no fun out there on the basketball court. That has a lot to do with losing.''

This time, it was Davis' turn to extend Philadelphia's misery.

When Davis wasn't jawing with taunting front-row fans, he was knocking down baskets from all over the court to boost Minnesota's lead early in the fourth. He opened the quarter with an 18-footer, hit his first 3-pointer of the game, and sank two free throws for a 75-67 lead.

Davis enjoyed the give-and-take with the Philly faithful.

``Yeah, it was nice,'' he said. ``It got me going a little bit and I appreciate it.''

When Davis converted a three-point play late in the fourth, he gave the Timberwolves something to really appreciate _ their first double-digit lead, 83-73.

Iverson and Garnett carried their teams for most of the first three quarters in a tight game where neither team could build a lead larger than six points. Davis sank an 18-footer in the final minute of the third to help put the Timberwolves ahead entering the fourth.

``This is not the way it was supposed to be,'' Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. ``It's not what I envisioned. Our effort on the floor tonight wasn't good enough. We're still searching for an answer.''

Bobcats 97, Pistons 89

At Charlotte, N.C., Sean May scored 17 points and fellow reserve Matt Carroll added 16 to help the Bobcats snap Detroit's eight-game winning streak.

Emeka Okafor had 18 points and eight rebounds and Brevin Knight had 14 assists for Charlotte. Rasheed Wallace scored 19 points and Tayshaun Prince added 17 for Detroit.

Hawks 107, Trail Blazers 96

Joe Johnson had 33 points and Atlanta snapped a nine-game losing streak to Portland.

The Hawks had also not won at the Rose Garden since Dec. 15, 1997. The nine-game skid dated to 2002.

Zach Randolph had 30 points for the Trail Blazers, who have lost five straight and 10 of 12.

Tyronn Lue finished with 19 points for the Hawks.

Clippers 116, Magic 91

At Los Angeles, Elton Brand scored 31 points to help the Clippers stop the Magic's seven-game winning streak.

Tim Thomas added 20 points for Los Angeles, which won for just the second time in eight games and rebounded from a 97-88 home loss to the Lakers on Saturday night. It was the Clippers' biggest victory margin of the season, and the Magic's worst losing margin.

Dwight Howard had 16 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 15 for Orlando (13-5), which still has the best record in the Eastern Conference.