Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns were showing why they are two of the NBA's most dynamic young big men. Veteran J.J. Redick also joined the team, providing more optimism in Philadelphia.
TJ McConnell, in his first game back since December 7, scored seven points in 26 minutes with six rebounds, two assists, and a steal.
"He looked okay", 76ers coach Brett Brown said after Tuesday's shootaround.
Embiid assisted on Ben Simmons' go-ahead dunk with 1:17 remaining in regulation and hit the game-tying free throws with 14 seconds remaining.
The win snapped a four-match losing streak for Philadelphia.
The 76ers were 3 of 4 from the field in the overtime session and 11 of 13 from the free-throw line. "This year was treated like a regular game and we got the win".
The huge expectations heaped on the Timberwolves with the addition of star Jimmy Butler to center Karl-Anthony Towns have led to some disappointment despite Minnesota sitting at 16-11 and fourth in the Western Conference. However, the tired Timberwolves couldn't close out the game. "We have to just come together as a team and get through it". "I didn't, definitely, at least", Towns said. Jimmy was fantastic tonight.
"Last year I was really excited to play against him", Embiid said.
"It's all about how you do your job", Butler said.
Embiid is averaging 23.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game in 21 games this season. The Sixers set a season worst for turnovers.
Really, there are so many takeaways from this game, but I'll just say that the Sixers had so many opportunities to blow the game and revert back to the Sixers of old where they were unable to close games out in the end.
In addition to the play of Redick and Embiid, the Sixers also received 28 points off the bench, with Trevor Booker leading the way with 12. All of his points came late in the fourth quarter and in overtime.
The Wolves were 1 of 22 from 3-point range before Butler's 3-pointer gave them a 97-96 lead. The 76ers have guys like Embiid, Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick, while the Wolves have Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler. Embiid followed that up with a jumper. For him to be a game-time decision against a physical team like Minnesota and play as many minutes as he did, that has to be a great sign long-term.
Butler wouldn't use fatigue as a reason for the loss.
"We needed this", he said of the win. However, there could be other teams that trade up to take the No. 1 pick including the Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls, but it appears those possibilities are no longer on the table. "If you're exhausted, run some extra laps after practice".
NOTES: Philadelphia F Robert Covington missed his second consecutive game due to a lower back contusion. Saric, the normal starting power forward, replaced Covington at small forward. Minnesota F Nemanja Bjelica missed his 10th straight game with a left mid-foot sprain. The 131 points surrendered on Sunday were the most all season. Minnesota committed just 10 turnovers.
In respect to game play, the Sixers will be idle the next two nights, before returning to the national state Saturdy AEDT in a home match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Timberwolves: Home against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.