MINNEAPOLIS – The 76ers might want to find a way to always include Richaun Holmes in the game plan.
Due to Robert Covington being sidelined with a lower-back contusion, the third-year veteran started at power forward in Tuesday's 118-112 overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. He finished with season highs of 15 points and 11 rebounds. But before that, he proved that he can contribute off the bench as a center or power forward. Receiving minutes at power forward, Holmes scored at least 12 points in each of the three games heading into Tuesday's matchup.
He had back-to-back 13-point performances against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday and Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday. Then the 24-year-old finished with 12 points on Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
However, he didn't play in the two games before those three. In all, Holmes has played in 12 of the first 18 games since being sidelined at the start of the season with a fractured left wrist. That's because he was considered a situational backup center to Joel Embiid. Amir Johnson received the bulk of the backup minutes instead.
However, Holmes and the team benefited from playing him also at power forward against the Lakers, Cavs, and Pelicans. It's the position he played at Bowling Green.
"It's just a matter of the playing time, the opportunity," he said of his stellar three-game stretch. "I know what I can do on the court. When I go out there, I try to perform. … It's just about the opportunity."
The 6-foot-10, 245-pounder was averaging 6.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 14.6 minutes before Tuesday's game.
"His athletic ability is crazy," Johnson said. "I think he's got the most bounce on team. You ever see my man jump?"
Beating the weak
The win over Minnesota was the sixth for the Sixers (14-13) against teams that had winning records as of Monday. Two of those wins came against the Detroit Pistons, which also is 14-13 and on a seven-game losing streak after getting drilled at home by Denver on Tuesday night, 103-84.