PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- This game was vintage Chris Webber, maybe
"I'm up for the challenge," Webber said. "I'm not by any
means dead yet."
Webber had 27 points and 21 rebounds, and Iverson added 19
points and 10 assists to help the Philadelphia 76ers win their
third straight game, 90-89 in overtime over the Minnesota
Timberwolves on Monday night.
"He was our best option in terms of putting the ball in his
hands," coach Maurice Cheeks said. "I thought his defense on
Garnett was just excellent."
After the Sixers wasted a 10-point lead in the final 4½ minutes
of the fourth quarter, Webber scored the go-ahead basket in
overtime and made two key blocks on Garnett that denied the tying
Webber nearly came up with a steal in the final seconds, but
disrupted the ball enough that Minnesota got one last look on an
inbounds pass with 0.4 seconds left. Szczerbiak tossed a pass to
Garnett, his shot was off the mark and the Sixers escaped with a
win they almost gave away.
Webber went 13-for-25, his 18 defensive rebounds were a career
best and he controlled the game much like he could when he was with
Sacramento and regularly going up against the premier power
forwards in the Western Conference.
"I was touching the ball in my comfort spots and that's all I
ask is to get the ball in my comfort spots and be able to try and
do something," Webber said.
Wally Szczerbiak scored 23 points, Garnett had 19 and Marko
Jaric added 14 points and 10 assists for the Wolves, who ended a
five-game winning streak that had sent them to the top of the
"We slowed down Iverson and (Kyle) Korver, but then Webber
comes up and bites us," Wolves coach Dwane Casey said.
Both teams lead their divisions, though with this win putting
the Sixers at .500 (11-11), it's hard to imagine this game as a
possible preview of the NBA Finals.
Then again, wilder things have occurred like the creaky Webber
leaving his feet on more than one shot, Korver scoring on a
three-point play instead of 3-pointers and reserve Shavlik Randolph
adding key baskets -- all in a wild fourth quarter.
Randolph had two big dunks -- one off a rebound and another on a
fast break -- that pushed the Sixers' lead to 74-67 late in the
fourth. He received a standing ovation from the minuscule crowd
when he went back to the bench.
Webber blew past Garnett -- yes, blew past -- for a baseline dunk
that also earned him a technical for hanging on the rim. Szczerbiak
hit the free throw, a seemingly minor play at the time that ended
up being the difference in sending the game to overtime.
And when Korver surprised everyone, including probably himself,
by taking a bounce pass on the run and finishing with a rare dunk
and three-point play, the Sixers went up 10.
Then it all fell apart for the Sixers, who have a nasty habit of
blowing big leads late this year. Only this time, they hung on to
Richie Frahm and Szczerbiak each hit 3-pointers and Anthony
Carter picked off a pass and went the length of the court for a
basket, giving the Wolves an 85-83 lead with 40 seconds left.
"The did a good job on K.G.," Casey said. "They kind of got
him out of his rhythm. The small lineup got us back in the game."
Webber tied it on a short hook with 23 seconds to go and Garnett
missed the final shot to send the game into overtime.
"I want the opportunity to play that way every night," Webber
said. "I want to shoot that many shots or shoot them in those
spots every night."
Iverson came in averaging a league-high 34.4 points, but went
8-for-25 and had a season-low point total.
The Sixers continued to get Korver more involved in the offense.
After scoring 51 points the last two games, Korver's point total
dipped to 13 against the Wolves, but his clutch outside shooting
remained constant when he had the looks.
He gave the Sixers a 62-60 lead with a 3-pointer late in the
third quarter, and, after Garnett followed with a basket from the
top of the key, Korver came right back down and hit another jumper
to make it 64-62.
Sixers C Michael Bradley was inactive after his back
tightened on him during pregame warmups. ... Minnesota G Troy
Hudson missed his third straight game with a strained calf. ...
Webber had his ninth career 20-20 game.