PHILADELPHIA – Despite a strong effort to make it a close game, the Philadelphia 76ers couldn’t overcome injuries to key players to snatch a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Joel Embiid stuffed the stat sheet and the Sixers got huge games from the emergency starting backcourt of Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.

Following news that Tyrese Maxey will join backcourt mate James Harden on the injury report for at least a few weeks, Milton dropped 27 points on 10-15 shooting while Melton recorded 19 points, six assists and five steals. Even though the Sixers lost 112-109, it was promising to see them play so well.

“They did the best job they could, especially with everything that we have gone on and everyone that we have missing,” Joel Embiid said of Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton after the game. “So, until everybody comes back, they gotta keep going.”

Georges Niang, who scored 15 points off the bench, was complimentary of Milton, who came through with a huge scoring night after a dismal start to the season. “He was just making a lot of things happen. That’s what Shake’s capable of,” he said. “He was getting in the lane, finishing shots that he normally finishes, and he’s just crafty.”

Although offense was the side of the ball to worry about coming into the game for the Sixers, it ended up being the defense that cost them in the end. Despite holding the Timberwolves to just 15-points in the fourth quarter, they couldn’t pull off the win. “We just didn’t play defense for three quarters and we put ourselves in a big hole,” Embiid said. “We were down 15, 20 [points] most of the game. Unfortunately, it was too much to overcome.”

Milton and Melton will need to continue playing well for the next few weeks while Maxey and Harden recover.