Sunday, January 16, 2022

D’Angelo Russell shines as the Timberwolves’ Philadelphia edge in double overtime

D’Angelo Russell pulled out a 3-pointer in overtime and pointed his hand as he came down the court and looked to show off the ice in his veins after making big shots to his teammates, Russell’s signature celebration.

The Minnesota Timberwolves – and coach Chris Finch – needed Russell’s shooting and calm demeanor in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Russell scored 27 of his season-high 35 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and a steal with 10.3 seconds in the second overtime before feeding Taurean Prince for a game-winning layup in Minnesota’s 121-120 double-overtime win. came along. on the Philadelphia 76ers.

“It’s probably one of the best D’Angelo Russell performances ever,” said Russell’s good friend, Carl-Anthony Towns. “I’ve seen him score 50 runs against us, but the difference between this game and the game I just talked to him about is the defense he made as well as the offense he gave us.”

The Timberwolves let their 20-point, third-quarter deficit go away. Anthony Edwards missed a long 3-pointer at the end of regulation for Minnesota and Philadelphia’s Andre Drummond signaled a missed free-throw home to tie the game at the end of the first overtime.

“Totally dry,” said Wolves coach Chris Finch. “The guys were great. They deserved to win that game, no matter what it was like for them. We had to win it like three or four times. It was a bunch of different games all wrapped up in one, but our A great job was done by everyone.”

Whenever the 76ers appeared ready to steal the game, Russell responded to the challenge.

Russell made six 3’s from the fourth quarter and made two assists in the second overtime.

Philadelphia had the ball in the second overtime with 30.8 seconds remaining. Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxi try a pick-and-roll on the 3-point line. Maxi quickly tried to pass the ball back to Embiid, but Russell was off the switch and was in position to intercept the pass.

Russell led a break that ended with a hard layup by Prince while defending. Embiid’s frustration 3 was off the mark at the other end.

Regarding Russell’s closing performance, Finch said, “It was also the right time.” “He was in control, wanted the ball, hit big shots, calmed everyone down, me included. He was awesome tonight. ,

Towns, playing with a right forefinger the night before, had 28 points and 10 rebounds, with 18.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Edwards added 19 points for Wolves, who had lost seven games in a row in Philadelphia.

The Wolves were again without starting guard Patrick Beverly due to a left adder strain. Prince started in his place after Jaden McDaniels started on Friday.

Trying to defend Embiid, who returned after missing nine games due to COVID-19 protocols, was an all-hands-on-deck mission. Towns, Jared Vanderbilt and McDaniels all make out as part of the crew trying to stop Embiid.

Embiid scored 42 points and made 14 rebounds. He was 16 out of 21 from the free-throw line, attempting more free throws than the entire Wolves team.

“He played his game,” Towns said. “He’s No. 1 on foul rate in the NBA. I got 21 free throws and I’ve never seen it, but I did just like he plays.”

If Friday’s loss at Charlotte was “like the old Wolves,” as Towns said after the game, Saturday was the “new Wolves” in Philadelphia that Town and Company believe they have become.

“At times that game gave us a chance to drop the rope and take the easy route and we just leaned towards each other and wanted to win the game,” Towns said. I thought we all did a great job of playing the right way, even when things were tough or things didn’t look the best. We kept playing the right way and kept looking for ways to win.

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