PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Eddie Griffin is making the most of his
Griffin scored a career-high 27 points and Latrell Sprewell had
24 in his return from a one-game suspension, leading the Minnesota
Timberwolves to a 119-84 over the struggling Philadelphia 76ers on
Kevin Garnett added 19 points for Minnesota, which has won six
"It meant a lot to me that I had a good game," said Griffin, a
Philly native. "I had a lot of friends and family watching."
Sprewell returned to the lineup after being suspended by the NBA
for yelling a sexual vulgarity at a fan in Los Angeles on Saturday
night. He shot 9-of-14.
Philadelphia hasn't won since beating Washington in overtime on
Nov. 26. The Sixers lost five in a row on the road, including a
one-point loss to Houston.
"We're not a real good team right now and I take full
responsibility," Sixers coach Jim O'Brien said. "We're not
playing to our capabilities. We have the personnel to make the
Griffin scored 12 of his points in the second quarter as
Minnesota built a double-digit lead that it carried throughout the
second half. He finished 9-of-21, including seven 3-pointers, and
also grabbed 11 rebounds.
A 12-0 run by the Wolves early in the third quarter put the game
out of reach. Sprewell hit a pair of jumpers during the run and
Wally Szczerbiak ended it with an 18-footer that made it 73-52.
The seventh overall pick in the 2001 draft, Griffin was better
known for his troubles off the court. He's been a pleasant addition
for the Wolves, averaging 9.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 21.8 minutes
Griffin was released by New Jersey in February, less than two
months after signing with the team in hopes of resurrecting his
career. The Houston Rockets cut him last December, and he earned a
roster spot with the Wolves after signing a contract in October.
"I'm just staying focused and positive," Griffin said. "I'm
doing a lot of extra shooting and working hard. The veterans have
been a big help to me."
Griffin's emergence gives the Wolves a perfect complement to
Garnett, the reigning NBA MVP.
"We made a decision when we got him to give him enough
responsibility and keep him improving," Wolves coach Flip Saunders
said. "He and K.G. are a great match, one inside and one outside.
He's an unbelievable outside threat and he blocks shots. He's been
Allen Iverson and Kyle Korver missed 21 of their 23 shots in the
first three quarters. Iverson finished 2-of-13 for 14 points, while
Korver was 2-of-14 for five points.
The Wolves took a 43-32 lead following a 12-4 run in the second
Griffin hit a pair of 3-pointers during the run, and added
another to give Minnesota its biggest lead of the half at 61-46.
"We're just not playing well as a team and our individual games
aren't that great as well," Iverson said. "The only thing we can
take as a positive is that it's early in the season."
The 35-point loss was the worst in the nine-year history of
the building for Philadelphia. ... Sixers F Corliss Williamson
didn't return after aggravating his left MCL in the first half. ...
The Wolves are 8-7 in Philadelphia, one of three teams to have a
winning record on the road against the Sixers. ... The Sixers are
0-7 against the West. ... Iverson has a steal in 37 straight games,
dating to last season. ... Minnesota is 9-0 when leading or tied
after three quarters.