Timberwolves 104, 76ers 102, OT

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Kevin Garnett didn’t miss twice.

After missing the potential game winner at the end of regulation, Garnett hit a 15-footer with Samuel Dalembert’s hand in his face as the buzzer sounded in overtime to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 104-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

Garnett finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds, and Trenton Hassell tied a career high with 22 points for the Wolves, who won their third game in a row and sixth of their last eight.

With the game tied at 96 in regulation, Garnett missed a fallaway baseline jumper at the buzzer that would have given the Wolves the win. But he came right back in overtime, dropping a baby hook and a 22-foot jumper to give the Wolves a 102-100 lead with 1:02 to go.

After Philly tied the game on an alley-oop from Andre Iguodala to Dalembert, Randy Foye tracked down a missed shot by Iguodala to set up Garnett’s heroics.

Foye had 11 points and 10 assists for the Wolves.

But even without the traded Allen Iverson and injured Chris Webber, the Sixers were no pushover in this one.

Kyle Korver had 25 points and Iguodala had 23 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Philadelphia in the final game of a grueling seven-game road trip.

The only team in the last 50 years to play 22 of its first 33 games of the season away from home, Philadelphia showed plenty of fight.

The Timberwolves led 90-82 after Hassell hit a high-arcing jumper from the baseline to cap a 10-0 run with just over 6 minutes to go.

Philly came right back, with Iguodala dunking and then getting a transition layup to tie the game at 94 with 1:30 to play.

The Sixers led 100-98 in overtime after a pair of free throws by Andre Miller, but just missed out on improving to 5-5 since trading Iverson to Denver last month. They were 5-18 with Iverson.

It was a matchup of two teams that were closely linked in mid-December during the Iverson sweepstakes.

The Timberwolves made a heavy push for AI, but in the end did not have the expiring contracts or the first-round draft picks the Sixers coveted. So Philly made the deal with the Nuggets, acquiring Joe Smith, two first-round picks and Miller – who had 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds – for Iverson and Ivan McFarlin.

The Sixers really wanted Foye in any deal involving Minnesota, but Wolves basketball boss Kevin McHale was reluctant to include the promising rookie in any offering.

The NBA rookie of the month for December showed plenty of grit in the fourth quarter, scoring on a drive and a then a pretty one-handed scoop to give Minnesota an 80-79 lead with 9:27 to go.

Notes: Webber missed his fifth straight game with a bruised right foot. Coach Maurice Cheeks said the team is being extra cautious to make sure he doesn’t return too soon. … Wolves F Marko Jaric played with a splint on his right thumb. He had an MRI that revealed no ligament damage, only a sprain, coach Dwane Casey said. … Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan was in attendance.

AP-ES-01-05-07 2303EST

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