Lynam's instant replay: Love's FTs sink Sixers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota trailed by a point with 3.6 seconds left. After a timeout they in-bounded the ball to Kevin Love who put the ball on the floor and headed toward the basket.
En route to the hoop, he was fouled by Andre Iguodala with one-tenth of a second left on the clock. After the disputed call by official Zach Zarba -- based on replays, Iguodala appeared to get all ball -- Love made his two free throws, giving the Timberwolves a 92-91 lead.
The Sixers inbounded the ball and threw it at the rim but the game was over.
Love finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds. The Sixers fell to 20-12 and 7-6 on the road.
The Timberwolves came into Sunday’s game with a 15-16 record, two wins shy of their total from last season. A big reason for their improvement is the addition of point guard Ricky Rubio who had a season-high 22 points. Rubio also had six rebounds and five assists.
The Sixers forced a turnover on the Timberwolves' opening possession, which they converted into a fast break bucket. That triggered an 18-7 start. But Minnesota called a timeout and followed that up with a 10-0 run. It would be a close encounter the rest of the way.
The Sixers led the entire first half. There were 14 lead changes in the second half.Turning point
Kevin Love scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a stretch early where he made three consecutive jumpers.Follow the leader
Doug Collins believes the Sixers are at their best when Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams are scoring. Coming into Sunday’s game, Holiday had not been much of a scorer his previous two games where he was a combined 1-17 from the field and scored six total points.
Holiday heeded his coach’s advice and was aggressive early and often. Holiday finished with a team-high 20 points on 10 of 20 shooting.Stat-egic
The Sixers had an unusually low number of assists. They entered the game averaging 22.4 assists per game, the fifth-highest mark in the NBA. They had 14 assists on 40 made field goals in Minnesota.Take a bow
Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young and Lavoy Allen did an excellent job defending Kevin Love. Love had scored 30 or more points in four of his previous five games. On the season, Love averages 26 points and 14 rebounds. He also averages nine free throw attempts.
Love had 8 points through three quarters. He finished the game 7-23 for 20 points. He was 6 for 8 at the foul line.What’s next
The Sixers will see an old friend in Marreese Speights Tuesday when they play at the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis is 18-14, having won four in a row. The Grizzlies will play at Houston Monday before hosting the Sixers on Tuesday.
Speights was traded from the Sixers to the Grizzlies on Jan. 4. The fourth-year player has started 24 games for Memphis, averaging 23 minutes. His last three games have been very impressive, with Speights averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the floor.
E-mail Dei Lynam at firstname.lastname@example.org