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Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kevin Martin, right, passes the ball under pressure from Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams during the first quarter Monday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. USA TODAY Sports

Wolves crush 76ers 126-95

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Wolves crush 76ers 126-95
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PHILADELPHIA — Sixers coach Brett Brown said before Monday’s game against Minnesota that one of the bigger challenges facing his team was “the two lumberjacks you have to deal with,” a reference to the Timberwolves’ imposing inside tandem of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.

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Love and Pekovic then played an enormous role in cutting the Sixers down to size. Love, a power forward, scored 26 points and Pekovic, a center, had 16 points and 14 rebounds as Minnesota rolled to a 126-95 victory, ending a season-long four-game winning streak by Philadelphia (12-22).

Love, who shot 7-for-12 in all, went 4-for-7 from 3-point range, part of a 16-for-26 barrage by Minnesota from the arc (61.5 percent). Guard Kevin Martin, who finished with 18 points, sank three 3-pointers, as did guard/forward Corey Brewer and guard J.J. Barea. Brewer and Barea finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Minnesota (17-17), which led by as many as 33 points in the second half, beat Philadelphia for the fifth straight time.

Forward Thaddeus Young, just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, paced Philadelphia with 20 points. But the Sixers turned the ball over 23 times, after averaging just 13.5 during their winning streak. Those miscues led to 30 Minnesota points.

The game was tied nine times in the first 17 minutes, the last time at 46-46 on a basket by Sixers guard Michael Carter-Williams with 7:06 left in the first half. But the Timberwolves ended the second quarter on a 24-8 spree to take a 70-54 lead at the break. Pekovic registered eight of his points in that stretch, and finished the half with 10.

Brewer led Minnesota with 15 in the half, and Young topped the Sixers with 15.

The T-wolves then limited the Sixers to 8-for-23 shooting while outscoring them 35-20 in the third quarter, a period that saw Love score 16 of his points.

NOTES: Young became the second 76er to be selected Eastern Conference Player of the Week this season. He averaged 25 points and nearly eight rebounds in three victories between Dec. 30 and Jan. 5. Williams was honored earlier this season. It is the first time since 2001-02 that two Philadelphia players earned Player of the Week in the same season. Allen Iverson and Eric Snow did it that season. ... The Timberwolves’ game against the San Antonio Spurs, originally scheduled for Dec. 4 in Mexico City, was rescheduled for April 8 at Target Center in Minneapolis. ... The Sixers were without G Tony Wroten (flu-like symptoms). ... Minnesota C Ronny Turiaf returned after missing the previous 31 games with a fractured right elbow. ... Timberwolves F Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sat out his second consecutive game due to a strained groin.

Wolves 126, 76ers 95

Minnesota          32   38   35   21—126

Philadelphia       29   25   20   21—  95

MINNESOTA (126)

Love 7-12 8-10 26, C.Brewer 5-8 2-3 15, Rubio 2-8 0-0 4, Kv.Martin 5-10 5-5 18, Pekovic 7-15 2-2 16, Shved 4-12 1-1 10, Turiaf 0-1 0-0 0, Hummel 1-5 0-0 3, Barea 5-12 0-0 13, Cunningham 5-9 0-0 10, Dieng 1-2 0-2 2, A.Price 4-6 0-0 9. Totals 46-100 18-23 126.

PHILADELPHIA (95)

H.Thompson 4-8 1-1 9, Carter-Williams 6-13 0-1 13, T.Young 9-16 0-1 20, Turner 5-9 3-4 13, Hawes 3-6 0-0 7, J.Anderson 5-6 2-2 14, E.Williams 2-5 3-4 8, Orton 2-4 1-1 5, Brown 1-7 1-2 4, Davies 1-4 0-0 2, L.Allen 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 38-80 11-16 95.

3-Point Goals: Minnesota 16-26 (Love 4-7, C.Brewer 3-3, Barea 3-4, Kv.Martin 3-4, A.Price 1-2, Hummel 1-3, Shved 1-3), Philadelphia 8-18 (J.Anderson 2-2, T.Young 2-4, E.Williams 1-1, Brown 1-3, Carter-Williams 1-3, Hawes 1-3, H.Thompson 0-1, Turner 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Minnesota 62 (Pekovic 14), Philadelphia 44 (J.Anderson 7). Assists: Minnesota 28 (Rubio 8), Philadelphia 26 (Carter-Williams 7). Total Fouls: Minnesota 14 (C.Brewer, Turiaf 3), Philadelphia 22 (Orton 4).

A—10,736.

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