GRADES: Sixers drop OT thriller to Timberwolves in Vegas

Rayjon Tucker, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Rayjon Tucker, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sixers lost a nail-biter of a preseason game that required extra time to arrive at a winner.

Philadelphia dropped their second game without Tyrese Maxey after he put the Summer League on notice in his early showings. Following a rather poor performance against the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia turned around and competed hard against the Minnesota Timberwolves. A back-and-forth game where neither team ever held a double-digit lead, was an excellent opportunity for players to showcase their abilities.

Without their lead creator and facing a somewhat experienced (for Summer League’s standards) Minnesota team, Philadelphia inserted Frank Mason III into the starting lineup.

Surrounding him was first-rounder Jaden Springer, Aaron Henry, sharpshooter Isaiah Joe, and out-the-mud “B-Ball” Paul Reed.

Joe had lit-up the nets early in the summer season and Springer had shown flashes, but not much mattered for the starting group outside of Reed.

The whole game was a battle of teams competing hard without too many flashes of highlights until heroics at the end.

As the fourth quarter started, Minnesota carried a one-point lead, 64-63. A scoring drought by Philadelphia over the first four minutes allowed Minnesota to extend their lead as high as eight points before an Aaron Henry floater ended the run.

From there, a diverse attack and trading of baskets including a big three-pointer from Springer and strong takes from Rayjon Tucker off the bench put Philadelphia in a position to close out the game as Tucker stepped to the line with ten seconds remaining up by two.

He sank the first free-throw but missed the second. Jaden McDaniel’s grabbed the board for Minnesota and felt no need to give it up as he dribbled down and cashed the overtime forcing basket as a couple of last second tip-in tries by Philadelphia fell short.

The abbreviated overtime period was competitive, but two Jaylen Nowell three-pointers proved too much as Minnesota took home the victory.

Grades from the Sixers’ nail-biting Summer League loss to the Timberwolves, who managed to pull out the victory in overtime.

A+. . PF. 76ers. PAUL REED

34 mins | 27 pts | 20 reb | 4 ast | 4 stl | 4 blk | 3 TO | 11-17 FG | 2-3 3PT| 3-3 FT | 6 PF | +2 |

Paul Reed is a fan favorite from diehard Philadelphia fans. He is often a figure who gets the attention of Daryl Morey more on Twitter than on the court, but a joy nonetheless. Some think he is a center, a large wing, and tonight he showed playmaking capabilities. He likely isn’t a specific position, but the embodiment of the large, switchable variety that the Toronto Raptors seem to be coveting. Either way, he was nothing short of spectacular in this game. He scored in a pleathora of ways, shot well from distance, is a defensive nightmare against this level of competition and seemed to a be a leader with Maxey gone. Nothing other than a tremendous showing.


34 mins | 11 pts | 4 reb | 6 ast | 2 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | 4-12 FG | 1-5 3PT| 2-2 FT | 4 PF | +7 |

First-round rookies rarely contribute to meaningful minutes in the season and even less so when the games really start to carry weight. Not much more should be expected from Springer. He has bounce, a willingness to shoot and a decent ability at reading the floor. He is a project and one who should tie himself to Maxey and do everything he can to learn, absorb, and hopefully be a piece next year that’s too good to be at summer league. This game was a reminder of what can be and what is.

C. . SF. 76ers. ISAIAH JOE

26 mins | 5 pts | 4 reb | 5 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 2-9 FG | 1-6 3PT| 0-0 FT | 1 PF | +4 |

Joe is a tough assessment. There are so many things he really can’t do at the NBA level. Then again, the thing he does best is one of the league’s most coveted skills. He dished out five assists without a dominant lead guard and those steps will be key in ultimately determining if he can ever find minutes at the next level. Defense, ability to be a threat coming off screens or attacking closeouts will be crucial because despite a poor shooting night, he is up there with really any in the league at letting it fly from distance.


15 mins | 16 pts | 1 reb | 0 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 3 TO | 7-11 FG | 1-4 3PT| 1-2 FT | 1 PF | -16 |

Rayjon Tucker continues to impress. A young guy with room to grow who is a high-level athlete even when compared to the high-level athletes in the NBA. His overall game needs to blossom with time and reps, but it isn’t hard to squint and see a potential career arc like that of Derrick Jones Jr.

D+. . C. 76ers. FILIP PETRUSEV

9 mins | 2 pts | 0 reb | 0 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 1-1 FG | 0-0 3PT| 0-0 FT | 1 PF | -2 |

Daryl Morey made it clear that despite Petrusev wanting to join the squad this year, that would not be the case. He seems to be right. Perhaps there would be excellent development opportunities over here, but he is still a long way from ever contributing any minutes on an NBA court, much more meaningful ones. This wasn’t a great game, but he doesn’t look too out of place either. Only time will tell.

Minnesota will look to extend their undefeated Summer League showing against another unbeaten New Orleans Pelicans team. Meanwhile, Philadelphia will have an opportunity to get back above .500 in their next outing on Tuesday against the Utah Jazz.

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