Flynn, Jefferson rally Timberwolves from 20 down to beat 76ers, 108-103 in OT

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Down 20 points to the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves found themselves in yet another bleak situation. The difference this time is that they fought their way out of it.
Jonny Flynn had a career-high 29 points and nine assists and the Timberwolves posted their biggest comeback of the season, a 108-103 overtime win over the 76ers on Monday.
"You don't want to be in situations like that, but if you are part of that situation you have to keep fighting," Flynn said. "That's one thing that Kurt (Rambis) always preaches to us is that you can comeback from anything. We proved that today."
Al Jefferson added 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who trailed 51-31 with three minutes to go in the first half. But even without Kevin Love in the lineup because of an illness, the Wolves outscored Philly 68-36 the rest of the way and held advantages of 43-39 in rebounds and 22-8 in second-chance points to stun the Sixers, who proved that no lead is safe for them.
"The old skeletons came out of the closet for us," 76ers coach Eddie Jordan said.
Elsewhere in the NBA it was: Washington 97 Portland 92; New York 99 Detroit 91; Oklahoma City 94 Atlanta 91; Charlotte 105 Sacramento 103; Houston 101 Milwaukee 98 (OT); Los Angeles Clippers 106 New Jersey 95; San Antonio 97 New Orleans 90; GlodenState 114 Chicago 97; Memphis 125 Phoenix 118; Los Angeles Lakers 98 Orlando 92; and Dallas 99 Boston 90.
At Minneapolis, Andre Iguodala had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Sixers but missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have given Philadelphia the win in regulation.
Sixers president Ed Stefanski recently refused to guarantee Jordan would last the entire season, saying the entire organization needed to be better. The Sixers are 3-3 since that assessment, with losses to the Knicks (16-24), Wizards (13-26) and Timberwolves (9-33) this month.
"It's a old cliche that players win ball games," said forward Elton Brand, the US$80-million man who again was underwhelming with 10 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes. "He's doing the best he feels he can do. We don't just want to win for him, we do want to win for him, we want to win for us, too, and the city. We were right there, and we though we turned the corner. It's just a disappointing loss."
Flynn had four points and a key steal in the first minute of the extra period to get the Wolves on track for just their ninth victory of the season.
Minnesota trailed by 17 points at halftime, but Ryan Gomes scored 14 of his 16 points in a 33-18 third quarter to get the Wolves back in the game. Damien Wilkins added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves.
The Timberwolves forced 10 turnovers in the second half and overtime and made the Sixers work harder for their shots to scratch their way back into the game.
"That's what wins games, defence and rebounding and getting our guys more shots," Jefferson said. "We contested their shots and we scrambled."
Rambis lamented another poor start from his young team, but said he was "very proud of the fact that they came out and played very hard and determined in the second half."
Willie Green scored 16 points and Allen Iverson had 11 points and nine assists, but did not play at all in overtime for Philadelphia.
The Sixers cruised out to a huge early lead thanks to torrid shooting and another lacklustre start by the young Timberwolves, who missed 22 of their first 29 shots.
The Sixers, who have struggled to score points all season long, rolled up 57 in the first half and only turned the ball over four times to build a 17-point lead at the break.
All that work was wasted in a listless second half, and the Sixers were again left searching for answers.
"Why aren't we getting stops down the stretch? How come we aren't a better team?" Sixers guard Louis Williams said. "The answer is we all in this locker-room have to look ourselves in the mirror and just do a better job. There's no other explanation. As a team, we have to do a better job, especially when we're coming out and playing as well as we were playing. That hurts."
Wizards 97 Trail Blazers 92
At Washington, Antawn Jamison scored 21 of his 28 points after halftime, Caron Butler made two big baskets down the stretch and the Wizards put together a rare two-game winning streak.
Knicks 99 Pistons 91
At New York, Nate Robinson showed his game is much more than dunks, scoring 27 points to lead the Knicks to a victory and a split of a home-and-home series with Detroit.
Thunder 94 Hawks 91
At Atlanta, Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Jeff Green had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Oklahoma City ended Atlanta's three-game winning streak.
Bobcats 105 Kings 103
At Charlotte, N.C., Gerald Wallace shook off an ankle injury to score 28 points, Raymond Felton finished a rebound shy of a triple-double and the Bobcats held off a furious Sacramento comeback bid.
Rockets 101 Bucks 98 (OT)
At Houston, Luis Scola scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Aaron Brooks dished out 10 assists to offset a bad shooting game and the Rockets beat Milwaukee in overtime.
Clippers 106 Nets 95
At Los Angeles, Chris Kaman had 22 points and seven rebounds in his return to the lineup, and the Clippers snapped a four-game skid.
Spurs 97 Hornets 90
At New Orleans, Tony Parker scored 25 points and San Antonio handed the Hornets a rare home loss.
Warriors 114 Bulls 97
At Oakland, Calif., Monta Ellis had 36 points, eight assists and five rebounds, Corey Maggette added 32 points, six rebounds and five assists and short-handed Golden State snapped a three-game losing streak.
Grizzlies 125 Suns 118
At Memphis, Tenn., Rudy Gay scored 31 points, Zach Randolph added 27 points and 11 rebounds and the Grizzlies finished a four-game home stretch undefeated.
Lakers 98 Magic 92
At Los Angeles, Shannon Brown scored a career-high 22 points, Pau Gasol had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Lakers scored the first 15 points of the fourth quarter for a victory over the Orlando Magic in the first rematch of last season's NBA finals.
Mavericks 99 Celtics 90
At Boston, Dirk Nowitzki had 37 points, scoring nine in a row during a third-quarter run that gave the Mavericks the lead for good, and Dallas beat the Celtics.

Organizations: Minnesota Timberwolves, Knicks, Lakers Hornets Orlando Magic Celtics

Geographic location: Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Minneapolis US Minnesota Atlanta Los Angeles Washington New York Detroit Charlotte, N.C. Sacramento Houston New Orleans San Antonio Oakland Golden Memphis, Tenn. Boston Dallas

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