Nikola Pekovic

Nikola Pekovic had 27 points and tied a career high with 18 rebounds to power the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 94-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Derrick Williams had 17 points and eight rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 15 points and five assists in his return from a thigh injury for the Timberwolves, who won for the fourth time in their last 20 games.

Evan Turner scored 17 points and Jrue Holiday scored 16 after making his All-Star debut on Sunday for the 76ers, who couldn’t come up with an answer for Pekovic in the paint in a rough and tumble game. Philadelphia has lost seven straight road games and has won just six times away from home all season, the third fewest wins in the NBA.

The Timberwolves never trailed, thanks in large part to Pekovic bulldozing his way through the Sixers big men. He dominated Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen throwing an array of jump hooks, baseline spins and dunks at a Philadelphia front line that wanted no part of the hulking Montenegrin.

The Timberwolves led by as many as 19 points in the first half against a lifeless Sixers team that watched Holiday get into early foul trouble and Turner score just two points in the first 24 minutes. An exasperated Doug Collins tried to send a message to start the second half, sending Kwame Brown and Damien Wilkins out in place of Hawes and Allen.

– Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press