PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson wouldn't let the Minnesota
Timberwolves build on Tuesday night's victory over the Los Angeles
Iverson scored a season-high 41 points, reaching the 40-point
plateau for the 51st time, to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a
99-94 victory over Minnesota on Wednesday night.
Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 16 rebounds, Rasho Nesterovic
scored 19 and Rod Strickland added 15 for Minnesota, which had won
three of four, including an 18-point victory over the three-time
defending champion Lakers.
"We knew they'd have a lot of confidence after beating the
Lakers handily," Iverson said. "t doesn't matter that the Lakers
are struggling. They're still the Lakers. We wanted to jump on them
Eric Snow added 13 points and Greg Buckner had 11 for the
Sixers, who have won two straight after losing five in a row.
Philadelphia (17-9) moved a half-game ahead of New Jersey and
Boston in the Atlantic Division.
Iverson, who shot just 37.2 percent (42-for-113) in his previous
five games, hit 10 of his first 15 shots and scored 26 in the first
half to help the Sixers build a 19-point halftime lead. He finished
14-for-29 from the field, 11-for-16 from the foul line.
"My shot felt good tonight, even when I missed I thought it was
going in," Iverson said. "I got the ball in a good spot and got
into a rhythm. My teammates were looking for me, they understood I
was hot and they gave me the ball."
The Timberwolves pulled to 67-64 after a 13-0 run in the third
quarter. But Iverson made two free throws and a 3-pointer to put
Philadelphia ahead 72-64.
After Minnesota again cut the deficit to three, 73-70, Derrick
Coleman made three free throws for a 76-70 lead after three
The Timberwolves didn't get closer than five the rest of the
"We didn't play with any energy at the start," Minnesota coach
Flip Saunders said. "Iverson kept making shots. He kept getting
the ball at the top where he's really tough to defend."
Philadelphia outscored Minnesota 17-4 over a six-minute stretch
in the second quarter to build a 46-28 lead. The Sixers scored 12
straight to start the run. Iverson began it with a 14-footer and
ended it with a long jumper.
"We weren't as aggressive as we should have been on defense and
on offense, it seemed we were rushing," Strickland said.
Iverson wore an Atlanta Hawks retro jersey bearing Dominique
Wilkins' name and number to the post-game news conference. He
created quite a stir in Philadelphia after wearing a Bill Russell
Boston Celtics jersey after Monday night's win over Denver.
"It was silly to talk about," Iverson said. "It wasn't about
the Celtics. I hate the Celtics and everybody knows that. I respect
great players. Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain,
Larry Bird, Dominique, these are guys who paved the way for us,
gave us the vision."
The Sixers, Nuggets and Rockets agreed to a three-way trade
that sends Kenny Thomas to Philadelphia, James Posey to Houston,
and Mark Bryant and Art Long to Denver. Bryant and Long were
little-used reserves for the Sixers. Thomas was averaging 9.9
points and 6.9 rebounds for Houston. ... Garnett recorded his
league-leading 22nd double-double. ... Timberwolves swingman Wally
Szczerbiak missed his 15th consecutive game with a sprained toe.
... Keith Van Horn fouled out with 4:57 left. He had just four
points with 10 rebounds. ... Philadelphia is 34-17, including
playoffs, when Iverson scores 40 or more points.