76ers Roll Past Timberwolves 109-99 For 3rd Win In 6 Games
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ish Smith had 21 points and 11 assists and Richaun Holmes scored 17 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to 109-99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Still the worst team in the NBA at 4-33, the Sixers have won three of six games and have a new confidence since they named Jerry Colangelo chairman of basketball operations last month.
Colangelo's first big move was acquiring Smith from New Orleans in a Dec. 24 trade that cost them nothing but second-round draft picks. Smith averaged 13.4 points and 7.6 assists since the deal and has made his teammates better.
Smith keyed a fourth-quarter run that helped the Sixers push the lead to double-digits, even with leading scorer Jahlil Okafor on the bench. Smith had a pair of assists early in the quarter that gave the home crowd a reason to cheer a win for only the second time this season.
Shabazz Muhammad led the Timberwolves with 20 points.
Timberwolves' Towns is Western Conference Rookie of Month
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves' No. 1 draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns is the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the second straight month.
Towns won the honor for December on Monday. He also was Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November.
Towns led all qualified rookies in December in scoring (18.6 points per game), rebounding (9.5 rebounds per game), field goal accuracy (55.3 percent) and minutes played (30.4 minutes per game). He ranked second in blocked shots, with 1.56 blocked shots per game, and third in free throw percentage, with 82.8 percent, in December.
Towns is the second player in Timberwolves history to win consecutive Rookie of the Month honors. Andrew Wiggins won that honor four months in a row, from November 2014 through February 2015.