By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high after a wrapping up a six-game road trip with a 4-2 record. They faced the hungry Minnesota Timberwolves. They needed a strong offensive and defensive surge to destroy the Timberwolves 121-113.
Philly was reinforced by a returning Joel Embiid. It took him awhile to get going, but when he did he made his presence felt. He scored 15 of his 24-points by half-time. He showed a little bit of rust, but was the defensive anchor for the Sixers. He had three blocks as well. Thanks to his presence they were able to stop the Wolves from attacking the paint.
On having Embiid back, “He told us he didn’t want to dunk, and then he came out there and dunked it with two hands. It was awesome to have him back out there,” said Tobias Harris.
Minnesota did not go down without a fight as they were able to use some strong three-point shooting to stay in the game. They hit 12 three-pointers. four of those were hit by center Karl Anthony-Towns. He scored 39-points, and was able to get his teammates involved as well, when the Sixers defenders would focus on him. When he wasn’t making Philly defenders pay. Anthony Edwards picked up for him as he scored 27-points, and by attacking the paint he got some of Philly’s defenders in foul trouble.
It took a Philly 12-0 scoring run. In the opening minutes of the third quarter to put Minnesota away. That run was powered by forward Tobias Harris. He scored 32-points and once again showed his playmaking ability. He had four assists. He has been showing an increasing ability to create opportunities for his teammates, and if he continues to develop that. He adds another layer to the Philly offense.
On Harris’s performance, “It was great, I thought he should of scored more. We should have gotten him more involved. There’s room for everyone,” said 76ers Head Coach Doc Rivers.
Minnesota continued to fight and cut the 19-point Philly lead to six in the fourth quarter. Harris showed his ability to close as he scored 12-points late in the fourth quarter, for them to ice the game.
The Sixers now will face the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow night. They will need another strong night on both sides of the ball to keep the guards of the Grizzlies in check. Philly seems to be rounding into form. However, the Grizzlies will be a good test to see where they are. As the season heads to a close.