By: Kylan Watson
Karl-Anthony Towns the self-proclaimed “Best shooting big-man in the league,” came into Philly tonight. To renew his rivalry with the streaking Joel Embiid, despite Embiid’s best scoring effort Towns got the better of the Sixers beating them 112-109.
Towns (12-points), Anthony Edwards (25-points), and D’Angelo Russell (19-points) led them, they combined for 56 of Minnesota’s 112 points. All three players contributed to a 19-to-nothing scoring run that propelled them to a 16-point lead by half-time. That deficit was hard for the Sixers to overcome because of 22 turnovers, thanks to the defensive pressure that Minnesota put on them. They forced Philly into some ill-advised turnovers that led to fast break opportunities for them.
The Sixers just could not overcome their disregard for protecting the ball. Minnesota took full advantage of the Sixers lack of ball-handling in tonight’s game, and they will need to fix that if they want to string together some wins during this tough stretch. The blueprint of beating Philly is now out which is to up the defensive pressure and force them into some bad turnovers. Instead of making smart plays and trusting their teammates which they did not do tonight.
Philly would make it a game later in the fourth quarter. They were able to cut Minnesota’s lead to three-points in the fourth quarter. Thanks to using a zone-defense which stopped the Timberwolves from shooting three-pointers and forced them to actually run their offense which they could not do throughout this game. However, the Sixers disinterest in trying to win this game was their undoing. De’Anthony Melton missed a game-tying opportunity late in the fourth quarter. However, this game was lost thanks to Philly’s careless passing in this game they will need to clear that up as they prepare for the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night.
The Sixers will need to find a way to get some players healthy, Joel Embiid rolled his ankle in tonight’s contest. If he isn’t available on Tuesday night, then it gets a lot more offensively difficult for an undermanned offensive unit to beat a struggling Nets squad that is searching for wins. Philly will need to take care of the ball and keep it moving to get the easy opportunities they haven’t been able to get since James Harden went down with his injury. If they want to beat the Nets.