James Harden high fives Joel Embiid Gameday Report Road Trip Closes in Minnesota

Road Trip Closes in Minnesota | Gameday Report 65/82

The 76ers (42-22) will close their five-game road trip, playing their fifth game in seven days, Tuesday against the Timberwolves (34-32).

The Sixers are 3-1 on the road trip thus far, after most recently beating the Pacers, 147-143, Monday on the front end of their second back-to-back of the trip.

It was another night of stunning stat lines for Joel Embiid, who notched his 11th 40-plus point performance of the season, and James Harden, who recorded his second 20-plus assist game of the year (and in doing so, Harden became the first Sixer to ever share 20-plus assists in multiple games in the same season). 

“It’s just crazy, the way he can pass - not even looking, no-looks, behind the back, everything.” Jalen McDaniels said of his developing chemistry with Harden. “He’s going to get it to you. If he can see you, you’re gonna get it. I feel like he did a great job of getting everybody involved tonight.”

In the absence of Tobias Harris (left calf contusion) and P.J. Tucker (back spasms) Monday, McDaniels and De’Anthony Melton started alongside Embiid, Harden, and Tyrese Maxey.

McDaniels capitalized on the opportunity, scoring 20 points - his highest scoring total in his Sixers tenure thus far - plus eight rebounds.

“He’s just active,” James Harden said of McDaniels postgame. “He can shoot the basketball, cut, he’s a really good finisher. He adds value to this team, and we’re happy to have him.”

Maxey agrees.

“He’s been mad active,” Maxey said of McDaniels. “Him and Paul Reed in there together sometimes - they just cause so much havoc.”

The road trip closer in Minneapolis will be a family affair for McDaniels, facing off with his younger brother, Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels.

Tuesday’s meeting marks the second and final matchup between the Sixers and Timberwolves this season, after the Wolves took a 112-109 victory in Philadelphia on Nov. 19.

Anthony Edwards led the way for Minnesota in that win, recording 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists. 

Edwards is the Timberwolves’ leading scorer this season, averaging 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game - good enough to earn his first All-Star selection earlier this year.

As of early Tuesday morning, Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) and Jaylen Nowell (left knee tendinopathy) are out Tuesday, while Austin Rivers (neck soreness) is probable.

Tuesday’s matchup is a 7:30 p.m. ET tip.

Monday’s Key Contributors:

Joel Embiid

    James Harden

      Tyrese Maxey

        Jalen McDaniels

          Shake Milton

            Danuel House Jr.

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