Groundhog day? Winless 76ers could end losing streak against Wolves again


Last year on Dec. 3, an 0-17 Philadelphia 76ers team came into Target Center – and beat the Timberwolves 85-77, picking up their first win of the season.

Monday night, an 0-14 Philadelphia 76ers team comes into the Target Center – will they beat the Timberwolves for their first win for the second year in a row?

Unlike 2014, when the Wolves were 4-12 heading into the contest, Minnesota is 5-8. All five of those victories have come on the road, and in games Ricky Rubio played. The Spanish point guard is expected to start Monday, his fourth game back after missing four contests with a hamstring issue.

One matchup to watch: No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns (16 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 2.4 blocks per game) matching up against No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor (17.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.6 blocks per game).

The Wolves though are 0-6 at home this season. So no matter the result, one of these teams is breaking a losing streak.

Minnesota is averaging 101.6 points per game this season, while giving up 102.8 on 44.6 percent shooting. Philadelphia is averaging a league-worst 90.1 points per game on offense, while allowing 104.2points to opponents.

More Wolves notes

The Wolves might be without rookie (though 27-year-old) forward Nemanja Bjelica, who is questionable to play with a left knee contusion, the team said.

Also, head coach Sam Mitchell announced a starting lineup change. Kevin Martin will slide into the 2 guard spot, moving Andrew Wiggins to the 3 and pushing Tayshaun Prince to the bench.

Mitchell, according to the Timberwolves on Twitter, said the goal is to get more scoring from the starters.

"We can't score," Mitchell said, The Associated Press reports. "We're getting shots. We're missing them. We've just got to score better."

The 35-year-old Prince is averaging 3.2 points per game on 46.2 percent shooting this season, at 22.2 minutes per game.

Martin, typically one of the first players off the bench and getting 25 minutes a night, is at 13.3 points per game – but shooting just 35 percent from the field, and 25 percent from behind the 3-point line. Canis Hoopus though notes those percentages are "uncharacteristically poor" for Martin.

Towns and Tyus Jones bet

And here's a fun nugget from Towns (who played at Kentucky) and fellow rookie Tyus Jones (who went to Duke).


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