Sixers-Timberwolves observations, 'best' and 'worst' awards: Marco Belinelli adjusting well while Ben Simmons continues to dominate

Timberwolves 76ers Basketball
Sixers forward Dario Saric (left) and center Joel Embiid (right) contest Timberwolves’ big man Karl-Anthony Towns during the Sixers’ win on Saturday.

Here are my main takeaways and “best” and “worst” awards from the 76ers’ 120-108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Five observations

  • With 33 assists, the Sixers have had 30 or more assists for the fifth-straight game and 20th time this season. This also marked their 24th consecutive game with 20-plus assists. That ties the franchise record for consecutive 20-plus assist performances set from Nov. 24, 1992 to Jan. 13, 1993.
  • Even on a bad night,  Karl-Anthony Towns is a double-double machine. The Timberwolves all-star center made just 3 of 15 shots. However, he finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for his league-best 61st double-double.  The New Jersey native has six more than Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond, who’s second in the league.
  • Marco Belinelli is settling in nicely as the Sixers sixth man. He had 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting – including making 3 of 4 three-pointers. The guard shot 60 percent and averaged 17 points over the last four games.
  • Jerryd Bayless’ availability  – or lack of it – is a mystery. The Sixers reserve combo guard didn’t see action for the 13th consecutive game. Coach Brett Brown says the 10th-year veteran is sidelined with a sore right heel. However, Bayless hasn’t been listed on an injury report.
  • The Sixers bench needs to improve if they expect to win a playoff series.  The Sixers reserves nearly blew a 25-point lead.

‘Best’ and ‘worst’ awards

  • Best performance: This goes to Ben Simmons. The Sixers rookie point guard had 15 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds to post his 10th triple-double.
  • Worst performance: I had to give to Jeff Teague. The Minnesota point guard was held to three points while missing seven of eight attempts.
  • Best defensive performance: Robert Covington get this on a night when Joel Embiid finished with a game-high three blocks. Covington had a game-high four steals to go with two blocks.
  • Worst statistic: This goes to Sixers shooting 63.9 percent from the foul line.
  • Best statistic: This goes to the Sixers’ 33 assists on 42 made shots.