Back from a West Coast expedition and also returning 2 starters to the lineup, the Sixers put up a valiant effort in a 121-120 home loss.

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The Minnesota Timberwolves bench celebrates after Sixers facility Joel Embiid missed a last-second shot in the second overtime on Saturday.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

Sixers coach Doc Rivers shelp Saturday’s matchup versus Minnesota would be one “that we have to dig deep to win” after the cross-nation pilgrimage back from the West Coast.

The 76ers can not quite obtain over the complete line in double overtime.

In a wild 121-120 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers gained off to a clunky and also inreliable begin and then rallied from 20 points dvery own in the second fifty percent to take the lead late in regulation. They countered D’Angelo Russell’s ice-in-his-veins shot-making by forcing double overtime with a deliberately missed cost-free throw and also tip-in. They had a three-point lead via less than 2 minutes to play in the second added framework, however surrendered 2 consecutive buckets — consisting of a Taurean Prince game-winner — and committed a costly turnover in the final 31 seconds.

The outcome spoiled the Sixers’ homecoming complying with a six-game road pilgrimage and also a fabulous 42-suggest, 14-rebound outing from superstar Joel Embiid, that had missed the previous nine games in health and wellness and security protocols after trial and error positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 8.

“Joel was phenomenal tonight, yet we still shed the game,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “Joel would certainly take 30 and win, if you recognize what I’m saying. But he was good.

“Played a ton of minutes <45 minutes, 26 seconds>, somepoint you simply don’t understand from COVID. Give him crmodify. Clearly, he’s been working out, and he confirmed us that.”

Until the final seconds, it showed up Embiid would propel his team to victory.

He scored 25 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter and also two added frames. His 3 consecutive buckets, consisting of a fadeaway with less than 2 minutes to play in double overtime, provided the Sixers a 120-117 lead. Earlier, he had hit a pull-up three-guideline with much less than 2 minutes to play in regulation to provide the Sixers a 98-95 advantage, a go-ahead jumper through much less than two minutes to play in overtime, and also two cost-free throws to give Philly a 108-107 edge around one minute later.

But the Sixers might not survive Prince’s game-winner, together with a late flurry from Rusoffer, who scored 35 points, including a game-tying three-reminder through 31.9 seconds to play in overtime and also a go-ahead trey through 4.7 seconds remaining for a 113-110 lead. Minnesota additionally obtained massive nights from Towns (28 points and also 10 rebounds) and Anthony Edwards (19 points, 6 rebounds, salso assists).

Topredisposition Harris (17 points, nine rebounds, 4 assists), also back after his two-game absence bereason of a hip injury, tied the score at 100 by going 1-of-2 from the free-throw line via 18.5 seconds to play in regulation and pushed their lead to 110-107 with 35.9 seconds to go in overtime.

Welcome back, Embiid and also Harris

Embiid did not believe he was going to play Saturday, after a difficult bout with COVID-19 that had trouble breathing and also headaches that “were worse than a migraine.” He shelp he could not get up and also dvery own the floor even more than 3 times during a Friday workout, making it “a miracle” that he played more than 45 minutes on Saturday.

Embiid did not simply play. He “was moving us all throughout the overtimes,” Harris shelp. That was not an exaggeration, as Embiid scored all salso of the Sixers’ points in the second extra duration.

Yet Embiid began the game progressively, absent five of his first seven shots but generating scoring by going 6-of-8 from the totally free throw line. But he got heavy steam in the time of the Sixers’ comeback, as soon as they outscored Minnesota 29-16 in the 3rd and 30-28 in the fourth.

His pull-up jumper to reduced Minnesota’s bring about 64-52 in the third quarter assisted ignite the Sixers’ run to gain within 6. Anvarious other turnroughly 8-footer cut Minnesota’s bring about 71-65 with much less than three minutes to play in the quarter. And a finger roll got the Sixers within 71-70 in the period’s last minute. Later, an old-fashioned three-allude play cut the Timberwolves’ to 95-93 via less than five minutes to go in regulation, before his crunch-time heroics.

“I’m happy to be earlier via these men and also I love playing basketround,” Embiid shelp. “So as soon as I’m on the court, could also just execute whatever it takes.”

Embiid, though, also blamed himself for the defeat, pointing to two untimely turnovers and also one missed complimentary throw late in regulation and in the second overtime as factors why they might not complete off the victory. He additionally interjected to say he was responsible for Maxey’s final turnover.

“It was on me,” Embiid shelp. “I was intended to type of roll, and also I popped, so it made his angle a small harder to throw that pass, so next time we’re definitely gonna carry out a better task.”

Harris, meanwhile, sassist his hip felt “better.” He additionally got it going after the break, totaling 11 of his points and also 4 of his rebounds in the fourth quarter.

He attempted only one shot in the initially quarter. His next attempt did not come till late in the second, when his jumper was blocked. He clanked a three-tip off the back iron in the first half’s last minute. With the Sixers surging after cutting the Timberwolves’ lead to 64-58, Harris badly missed a change three-tip.

But through Embiid off the floor to begin the fourth, Harris obtained going. His rebound and follow, dunk off a feed from Andre Drummond, and 2 complimentary throws reduced Minnesota’s cause 80-76. He additionally obtained complimentary for a shift layup that acquired the Sixers within 91-86 through about 6 minutes to play. He then drove and also finiburned to cut Minnesota’s cause 91-88.

The rerotate of Embiid and also Harris likewise meant that the Sixers went back to a semi-constant rotation. Matisse Thybulle started, with Danny Environment-friendly (11 points, three rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals) still on a minutes restriction after respanning from hamstring tightness. Drummond, Georges Niang, Furkan Korkmaz, and Isaiah Joe were the various other bench players, with Shake Milton out through a groin injury.

The Sixers never led by two possessions Saturday night. But there were multiple times as soon as it felt choose they were in manage down the stretch. They led by three points via less than 2 minutes to play in regulation, through 35.9 secs continuing to be in the initially overtime, and also with less than 2 minutes to play in double overtime.

In the second overtime, the Sixers never before scored aget — and committed two turnovers — after an Embiid fadeamethod provided them a 120-117 lead.

In the first overtime, Rusoffer adhered to a Harris layas much as make the score 110-107 by burying 2 three-pointers.

In regulation, Towns followed an Embiid three-guideline to make the score 98-95 through a putearlier, before Edwards drained a corner three-tip. Then, Embiid and Harris both went 1-of-2 from the line to tie the score instead of snagging the lead.

“The toughest point around the loss today was we felt favor there was countless times wright here we absolutely have to have simply really been able to close it out,” Harris sassist. “We let that opportunity slip. ... It’s all things that we’ll watch film tomorrow and also understand also.

“Give credit. I thought they responded eincredibly time and also made difficult shots as soon as they necessary it. I think that’s really wright here the game slipped.”

The Sixers, but, were responsible for the most improbable crunch-time play. Down two through 2.1 secs to go in the first overtime, Maxey, after making the initially foul swarm, tossed up a perfectly executed missed cost-free throw for Drummond (that had simply subbed in) to reminder in and force one more extra 5 minutes.

“That’s such pot luck,” Rivers shelp. “You can sit there and shoot that 50 times and also you can’t miss it that well.”

Added Maxey: “At Kentucky, we provided to exercise it, actually. ... We had Joel and Andre Drummond in there versus 2 smaller men, so if I might just get it to the ago of the rim and it bounces toward those males, I kbrand-new we had a opportunity.”

It initially looked favor it would certainly be among those nights for the Sixers.

Harris yelled an expletive after he secured the pass with a wide-open route to the basket at an early stage in the first quarter, but the sphere inexplicably slipped out of his hands. Afterwards, Korkmaz got hold of a nifty pass from Drummond but clanked the one-handed dunk attempt off the side of the rim. On the next possession, a Drummond cross-court pass zipped over Niang’s head and into the stands behind the Sixers’ bench.

The Sixers missed their first six shots, went 4-of-16 in the initially quarter and finimelted the initially fifty percent 11-of-35 (31.4%). Their beforehand double-digit deficit, which reached 16 points in the second quarter and 20 in the third, would have actually been a lot greater if they had not produced points at the free-throw line, making 15 of 18 shots in the first half.

The Sixers reduced into Minnesota’s lead in the second quarter, once back-to-ago three-pointers by Niang and Green and also a Korkmaz layup made the score 35-28 at the 9:09 mark. But the Timberwolves re-extfinished their advantage to 16 points in the initially half, and to 20 as soon as Taurean Prince hidden a three-reminder early in the 3rd quarter.

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But the Sixers made their charge after that, through an 18-7 run. Maxey aided ignite the spurt through an and-1 finish, a jumper, a three-tip, and also aid on the Embiid end up that made the score 71-70 in the last minute of the 3rd.