Basketball: Philadelphia 76ers win 1st game of NBA season after losing 17 straight

MINNESOTA - The Philadelphia 76ers avoided tying the record for the worst start to a season in Natoinal Basketball Association (NBA) history, ending their 0-17 skid with an 85-77 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

A loss to the Timberwolves would have tied the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets for the worst start to a season in league history at 0-18.

Michael Carter-Williams had 20 points, nine rebounds and nine assists and Robert Covington added 17 points in a game between two of the worst teams in the league.

The Sixers shot just 39 per cent against the poorest defence in the NBA, turned the ball over 19 times and scored only nine points in the second quarter. However, Minnesota shot just 35.7 per cent and turned the ball over 19 times to lose for the 11th time in 13 games.

The Sixers led by 10 points after the first quarter - their first double-digit, first-quarter lead of the season - and 12 in the second quarter before the Wolves got going. They closed the period on a 13-1 run to take a 34-32 lead into the break, but both teams spent most of the night clanking shots, fumbling passes and squandering opportunities.

Covington, a call-up from the D-League, hit two big three-pointers in the fourth quarter to give the Sixers a 69-64 lead. Mo Williams capped an 11-2 spurt with a three-pointer that gave the Wolves a 75-73 lead with 2min 18sec to play, but Covington's third three-pointer of the quarter with 1:15 left sealed the win.