This is what happened pre-game.
Craig Brackins: "You got a triple-double for me tonight?"
Andre Iguodala: "Yeah I got you."
CB: "You sound too non-chalant."
AI: "No I'm serious. I got you."
And so it was. Though he almost didn't get it, Andre recorded the 10th rebound of his 22, 13, and 10 triple-double in the final moments of the game. It was his second trip-dub of the season and the sixth of his career.
But more importantly, the Sixers got their 31st win of the season against a cellar-dwelling Timberwolves club, vaulting themselves once again over the .500 mark after losing it a few days ago in Dallas. It looked for a while like the Sixers would relinquish the lead they had built up in the 2nd and 3rd quarters when the Wolves tied the game up in the fourth. But on the backs of Andre, Elton Brand, and the prolific bench, the Sixers kept the Wolves at bay in the waning moments and held onto the victory at home.
Kevin Love still did what he does, recording his 2nd 20-20 game in a row, but couldn't contain Brand -- who scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half. Love, despite dominating on the boards, only went to the foul line one time -- while allowing an equal 21 points to Elton. Minnesota's team defense has always been terribly suspect this season (and in past seasons) so the 100+ points came as no surprise. Though the Sixers also let up 100 to the Wolves, they staved them off by limiting turnovers and winning the free throw battle.
Individual observations and your Friday bullet points after the jump.
- Evan Turner played a nice game. He took the ball to the basket a number of times, and pulled up for a few nice jumpers. I'd still like him to be more assertive, but I'm 100% confident that next year we'll see a player ready to become a superstar in this league. He had a tough time with Michael Beasley, but the size difference is understandable and he shouldn't be asked to cover him too much.
- Thaddeus Young continues to play himself into a fat contract. As The Legend pointed out, he's got the 4th most minutes on the team, but most of them have come at the expense of playing Brand at center. Even though that lineup is one of the most effective in the league, it won't work for an extended period of time because of the lack of interior presence around. If Thad demands starter's money from this Sixers team, he shouldn't get it -- which gets harder for me to say every game Thad kills it like he did this one. 18 points on 13 shots, 8 boards, and filling the stat sheet in other ways as well. Kid's really learning how to play ball under Collins.
- Both teams shot 4-13 from 3-point land. Conspiracy or bible verse?
- Louis Williams was mostly invisible tonight. That's good. No LWHAI to report here.
- Jrue Holiday posted a +11 and 6/1 assist to turnover ratio, but didn't shoot particularly effectively and battled with Luke Ridnour on the other end.
- Anthony Randolph played really well. I love that he's getting a chance on this team, even if there's 24 other guys on the team who play the same position he does. Thanks, David Kahn!
- Marreese Speights played 15 minutes and pulled down 6 boards. He still looks relatively Confunded on a basketball court, but the production is there in limited time. As is his inability to adequately cover Nikola Pekovic.
- Seriously, how good has Andre Iguodala been?
- The best part of being .500, according to you, is "the girls". Well played, playboys.
- Natalie Portman once again.
- LB eeked over 300 despite missing a slew of key contributors. Proud of us.
- It looks like the Knicks, behind 30+ from both Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony,
will wind up beating the Cavs, pissing on any chance the Sixers have of gaining ground on the 6-seedHoly hell Cleveland -- Thanks to a ballsy showing by the Cavs and Luke Harangody, the Knicks went down to Cleveland at home. Indiana and Charlotte will probably lose too. Big night for Sixers playoff hopes.
- Craig Brackins had more mentions in this recap than he did in the telecast.