Hold the Lead!
The Sixers have struggled holding unto big leads the entire season. They took an 83-58 lead into the half and not only held that big lead but built on it.
They outscored the Timberwolves 66-49 in the second half with bench players getting most of the final quarter minutes.
It was a full-team game with Wilson Chandler hitting 4-of-6 3s, Jonah Bolden making four 3s and the new guy Corey Brewer hitting a 3 in the fourth quarter.
Brewer was signed to a 10-day contract Tuesday.
Joel Embiid dominated Karl Anthony-Towns from the tipoff, scoring 31 points in just 27 minutes. Towns scored 13 points in 28 minutes with just three rebounds. Embiid continues to cement his status as the best center in the NBA.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler was efficient in the game finishing with 19 points on 10 shots. Against his former team, Butler played in the flow of the offense as opposed to trying to take the game over himself.
“I do want to beat those guys,” Butler said. “But I want to beat every team.”
Ben Simmons was one assist shy of a triple-double, despite playing only 26 minutes.
The Sixers looked like a team that had this game marked on the calendar.
Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague summed the game up well.
“Them duded was (in) our heads. Jimmy wanted to beat us. We all know that,” Teague said. “Joel Embiid wanted to beat KAT. That ain’t a normal game. There ain’t nothing normal about that game. That was a game we all had marked, and they dogged us.”
T.J. just couldn’t resist the urge to troll his old teammate Dario a little bit after beating him for the bucket 😆. pic.twitter.com/8ORkY2gmoI
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) January 16, 2019
Some old friends return
Even though the game was not all that interesting, it was great to see Saric and Covington back in Philadelphia.
Covington missed the game with an ankle injury, his seventh in a row, while Saric scored 11 points.
They received a video tribute about midway into the opening quarter and it was well deserved.
“I really tried to play tough, tired to really give 100 percent in every moment, tried to be what Philly is,” Saric said about his time with the Sixers.
Jerryd Bayless played eight minutes in the fourth quarter and was booed every time he held the ball. Bayless was part of the Butler trade and was not liked during his tenure in Philadelphia.
Bayless played over two seasons with the Sixers but didn’t play much due to various injuries.
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