Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points and Jeff Teague added 25 before getting ejected for a flagrant foul on Ricky Rubio in the Timberwolves’ second straight loss.
Karl-Anthony Towns finished with just 13 points after picking up two technical fouls and getting ejected before halftime. Without him in the middle, the Timberwolves had no answer for Gobert.
“The rebounding, I thought, was a problem the whole game,” Thibodeau said. “It was a big concern going into the game. But I thought our guys kept fighting. Obviously when you lose (Towns), you’re losing your best rebounder. But they kept battling. I thought we had a shot down the stretch and then we had some tough breaks.”
The Wizards helped create an early deficit with five turnovers that led to 11 points for the Warriors, including a Curry-to-Durant alley-oop dunk that put Golden State up 32-21. Washington finished with 18 turnovers, which translated to 26 points. “Unfortunately for us,” Brooks said, “that’s been sneaking up on us.”
So were the Sixers, once Ilyasova delivered a flawless fourth (4 for 4 from the floor, sank both free throws) that compensated for Embiid’s scoreless quarter. Embiid had been otherwise dominant in a lopsided matchup against Dwight Howard.
The Sixers won their 13th straight game at the Wells Fargo Center.
“I think, for me, I need that energy,” Embiid said. “We’ve got to put on a show. It’s great, especially if we make the playoffs, it’ll be louder than usual.”
The Sixers were coming off an impressive 108-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night that ended an 11-game losing streak against the Eastern Conference champions. Coach Brett Brown said playing the second of a back-to-back at home against a Hornets team badly in need of victories would be a nice test.
The Suns shot 56 percent and the Thunder 49 percent in an up-and-down first half that ended with Phoenix up 67-60.
Booker had 21 points, eight assists and four rebounds in the half. Westbrook countered with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Jackson had 15 points in 10 minutes off the bench.
But the Suns wore down in the second half.