Philadelphia 76ers Gameday Report presented by NJM: 76ers visit Timberwolves for second game of back to back

76ers Visit Timberwolves in Minnesota for Second Game of Back-to-Back | Gameday Report 15/82

The 76ers (10-4) will face the second half of a back-to-back Wednesday in Minneapolis, visiting the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-3).

The Sixers will be looking to bounce back quickly, after a narrow 122-119 overtime loss to the Cavaliers (8-6) Tuesday.

Philadelphia trailed by as many as 18 Tuesday, before clawing back in the second half to force overtime. The Sixers took a 26-23 advantage in the third quarter and a 31-22 advantage in the fourth period.

“For us tonight, I think we did a good job down the stretch, being physical,” Tyrese Maxey (30 pts, 4 reb, 6 ast) said postgame. “We held them to 23 points in the third, 22 in the fourth. You can’t ask for better defense than that. So we gave ourselves a chance.”

Maxey added that the next key for his team is finding that physicality early, and sustaining it throughout a full 48 minutes.

“Once we were able to get body to body, and actually play physical, I think we were better,” Maxey said. “We have to start games like that, starting with the first quarter.”

Nick Nurse echoed his point guard.

“Just make sure we don’t try to ease into the game. On a scale of one to 10, physicality-wise, we (started at) a two. And then we took it to a nine or 10 in the second half… We’ll certainly be able to dissect the film. Obviously there’s situational things that we could do better.”

The last time the Sixers faced the Timberwolves was a March 7 meeting in Minneapolis, as the Sixers took a 117-94 victory to even the 2022-23 regular season series between the teams, 1-1. Joel Embiid led the way in that matchup, finishing with 39 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Maxey added 27 points, four rebounds, and five assists, while Tobias Harris notched a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double.

The Sixers will play their second of two meetings with Minnesota this season on Dec. 20 in South Philadelphia.

OPPONENT OUTLOOK

The streaking Timberwolves (10-3) have won nine of their last 10 outings, most recently beating the Knicks Monday, 117-100.

Anthony Edwards led the way for Minnesota in that win, notching a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double, plus five assists and two steals.

Edwards is Minnesota’s leading scorer this season, averaging 25.8 points per game, plus 5.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Rudy Gobert leads Minnesota in rebounding (11.8 rpg) and blocks (2.2 bpg).

Former 76er Shake Milton has appeared in all 13 of the Timberwolves’ games this season, averaging 5.5 points in his 15.5 minutes per game.

Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels (right ankle sprain), Jaylen Clark (right achilles tendon rupture rehab), and Jordan McLaughlin (right knee MCL sprain) are out Wednesday.

TUESDAY’S KEY PERFORMANCES

Joel Embiid

  • Embiid led the Sixers in scoring (32 pts) and rebounding (13 reb) in Tuesday’s overtime affair, plus five assists, two steals, and five blocks.
  • Tuesday’s matchup marked Embiid’s ninth 30-plus point outing this season.

Tyrese Maxey

  • Maxey poured in 30 points of his own, plus four rebounds, six assists, and a steal.
  • The performance was Maxey’s fourth 30-plus point game of the season, and his 12th 20-plus point outing.

Tobias Harris

  • Harris totalled 23 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals on efficient 7-for-13 shooting overall, 3-for-5 shooting from deep, and perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the foul line.

QUOTE TO NOTE

Maxey on lessons to take forward from a night like Tuesday:

“When you get down to the playoffs, it’s single possession games. Every possession matters, and every possession is gonna mean something out there on the court.”

FOLLOW ALONG

Wednesday’s matchup is scheduled to tip at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

UNIFORMS

The Sixers are scheduled to wear their white Association Edition uniforms, while the Timberwolves will wear their navy blue Icon Edition uniforms.

@SIXERS SOCIAL