76ers hope to avoid 0-18 start in Minnesota

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia 76ers will try to stave off one of the most dubious marks in NBA history Wednesday night when they travel to the Target Center to face the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A loss on Wednesday and the Sixers will tie the 0-18 mark for worst start to an NBA season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets established the futility record.

Philly established its own mark in a Saturday loss to the Dallas Mavericks and compounded it with a 109-103 home loss to the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

"The first half was not played with much energy," head coach Brett Brown said. "I've seen it with our guys. We play the Spurs, we're sort of starstruck for a second. We had no juice, no energy."

Michael Carter-Williams tallied 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead Philadelphia. The reigning Rookie of the Year shot 9-for-19 from the field.

Alexey Shved contributed 19 points off the bench, followed by 12 from Henry Sims. K.J. McDaniels added 10 for the second unit as Nerlens Noel sat for the 76ers with a right hip flexor injury.

Noel is questionable and Shved was added to the list due to a strained left hip flexor suffered in practice on Tuesday.

If the 76ers lose on Wednesday, they have a chance to make a new record with 19 consecutive setbacks to begin a season on Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder star Kevin Durant made his season debut last night, too.

The Timberwolves know a thing about injuries. They'll be without starters Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin, and have dropped two straight and five of their last six.

On Monday, the T-wolves got creamed by the Los Angeles Clippers, 127-101, at the Staples Center. It was the sixth consecutive game Minnesota allowed 100 points as it ranks dead last in the NBA in opponents' scoring at 111.2 ppg.

Shabazz Muhammad posted 18 points, 10 boards and four assists for the Wolves, who have dropped 10 of their last 12 contests. Andrew Wiggins chipped in 14 points, followed by 13 from Robbie Hummel and 10 from Zack LaVine.

The Clippers went on an elongated 66-27 run after the Timberwolves took a 37-31 lead early in the second quarter.

"We controlled the tempo in the first quarter, then we self destructed," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said.

Wednesday will be a reunion for Minnesota's Thaddeus Young. He played the first seven seasons of his career with the Sixers and was traded this past offseason.

The Timberwolves have won five straight against the Sixers, who have lost three straight, seven of eight and 11 of their last 13 trips to Minnesota.