Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/12

Game 1: Monday, December 12th
Game 2: Sunday, January 22nd

76ers 86

(20-20, 7-13 away)

Timberwolves 84

(19-19, 13-7 home)

12:00 PM ET, January 22, 2006

Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

1 2 3 4 T
PHI 14 17 24 3186
MIN 22 20 25 1784

Top Performers

Philadelphia: A. Iverson 39 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast

Minnesota: K. Garnett 13 Pts, 14 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

76ers rally from 19 down, win at buzzer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- With the Philadelphia 76ers trailing by 19 points late in the third quarter, Allen Iverson made a promise to his teammates during a timeout.

"I promised them that if we got it under 10, we'd win the game," he said.

Iverson kept his word when Andre Iguodala's follow of Chris Webber's missed layup narrowly beat the buzzer, lifting the 76ers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 86-84 on Sunday.

"It was one I'll never forget," Iverson said.

The Timberwolves won't forget Iverson anytime soon. He scored 39 points for the 76ers, who overcame a poor shooting performance to win their second straight and sweep the season series against the Wolves.

Iguodala had 14 points and Webber finished with 11. Webber was only 4-for-16 from the floor, but he helped hold Kevin Garnett to 13 points -- nine below his average.

Two days after an emotional overtime win over Memphis, the Sixers played another solid defensive game, contesting shots, hustling for loose balls and getting their fingers on several passes.

They needed all of that, since they went 32-for-80 from the floor and had 12 fewer assists than Minnesota.

"Our defense was consistent ... definitely our scoring wasn't," Webber said.

Minnesota had a chance to break an 84-all tie with 9 seconds to play. But instead of Garnett taking the crucial shot, Marko Jaric launched a jumper off a screen that clanked off the rim and ended up in Webber's hand, setting up the final possession.

Garnett wasn't available to reporters after the game.

"Doesn't matter who gets the shot in the fourth," Wally Szczerbiak said.

After taking a pass from Iverson on the perimeter, Webber drove and missed his layup, but Iguodala gathered the rebound near the foul line and threw up an arching shot that found the net as the Philadelphia bench celebrated.

"Just how we drew it up," 76ers coach Maurice Cheeks said, laughing.

Officials reviewed a replay of the shot and confirmed it had beaten the buzzer, although Iguodala said there was never a doubt in his mind.

"After I let it go, I knew it was good," he said. "We were down by so much, it was like a sigh of relief to get a win."

Szczerbiak led Minnesota with 18 points, Jaric had 15, Trenton Hassell 14 and Eddie Griffin 13.

"It really is frustrating," Wolves coach Dwane Casey said. "For some reason, we stopped being aggressive and going to the basket in the second half. We did become tentative, and we've got to get out of that."

Minnesota's defensive strategy heading into the game was to shadow Iverson and keep him off the free throw line. The Wolves did neither, as the former league MVP nearly single-handedly rallied the Sixers from a 19-point deficit late in the third quarter.

With 1:52 remaining in the third, Griffin hit a 3-pointer to put Minnesota up 65-46. But Iverson fueled a 22-6 run with 13 points.

Casey stuck Hassell, his defensive ace, on Iverson. But the speedier Iverson made him look futile, pump faking Hassell into the air several times, drawing fouls and making jumpers.

Iverson hit a 3 with 9:24 remaining, and Lee Nailon followed with a layup and an 11-footer to pull the Sixers to 71-70 with 8:20 to play.

Hassell responded with two baskets of his own, and Jaric hit a driving layup to give Minnesota a 77-70 cushion at the 6:10 mark. But the Wolves managed only seven more points.

"You could hear Allen on the bench keep saying, 'We're still there, We're still there," Cheeks said. "I think he gave a lot of guys a lot of hope."

Game notes

Garnett finished with 14 rebounds. ... The Wolves were without C Michael Olowokandi (abscessed tooth) and G Troy Hudson (illness). ... Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak at Minnesota. ... Nine of the teams' past 13 meetings have been decided by five points or fewer.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 86 84
FGM-FGA 32-80 (.400) 36-78 (.462)
3PM-3PA 7-10 (.700) 2-9 (.222)
FTM-FTA 15-21 (.714) 10-17 (.588)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-46 7-40
Assists 10 22
Turnovers 14 12
Steals 5 8
Blocks 6 6
Fast Break Points 9 15
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (1/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 2 19

Top Performers

Allen Iverson Iverson
Points: 39
Reb: 9
Ast: 5
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Kevin Garnett Garnett
Points: 13
Reb: 14
Ast: 5
Stl: 1
Blk: 1