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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 19 - Shorthanded Sixers avoid setback at the Garden

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Philadelphia came back from a 16-point deficit for one of those elusive road wins

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

For a refresher on our Bell Ringer series, take a look back at our first post of the season.

Bell Ringer Standings

Josh Richardson - 5
Joel Embiid - 4
Ben Simmons - 3
Tobias Harris - 3
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Al Horford - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1

On Black Friday, the Sixers looked to have a lethargic post-Thanksgiving hangover, falling behind the Knicks by 16 points in the first half. Things were looking grim with starters Josh Richardson (hamstring) and Al Horford (rest) both sidelined, but the Sixers charged back in the third quarter, outscoring New York 31-17 in the period to take the reins back on the proceedings. Though the Knicks held tough, the Sixers made some big plays on both ends in the final minutes to pull out the road victory, 101-95.

Joel Embiid: 27 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 3 turnovers

Embiid was not able to cultivate his jumper at the Garden, shooting just 7-of-19 from the field, including 0-of-4 from 3. However, for the second game in a row, he made a living at the foul line, going 13-of-15 on free throws. In crunch time, the Sixers repeatedly went to Joel on the block, resulting in a trip to the line or a basket-plus-a-trip-to-the-line.

Per usual, Embiid was stalwart on the defensive end. The 17 rebounds were huge with Horford getting the night off, as were the trio of blocks, none bigger than when Joel hustled back to reject Julius Randle from behind, preserving a one-point lead late in the fourth.

James Ennis: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 0 turnovers

What a performance from James Ennis, who went off for a season-high 20 points on just five field goal attempts. Per Sixers Stats, he and World B. Free are the only Sixers to score 20-or-more points on five-or-fewer field goal attempts in the shot clock era. Ennis shot 4-of-5 from the floor, 3-of-4 from 3, and 9-of-9 from the foul line.

Those nine free throw attempts were a career-high, as Ennis did much more than make his usual catch-and-shoot corner 3s (although those were key as well). Ennis had two nice drives to the basket to earn trips to the charity stripe, and the fact that he was hitting shots forced Randle into a hard closeout, fouling James on a 3-point attempt. Ennis also brought his usual chippy defense, sliding down to draw a charge on Frank Ntilikina early in the fourth quarter.

Ben Simmons: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers

Early in the game, Simmons was more aggressive than normal attacking the basket. He had six free throw attempts in the first half, and those weren’t of the Hack-a-Ben variety like those later in the game. Still, although the aggressiveness waned and Simmons became somewhat of a vestigial offensive piece later in the game, the defensive effort remained top-notch. He drew a charge on growing-Sixers-bully Marcus Morris, and then, made a game-changing steal of an in-bounds pass with a minute left, as the ensuing slam made it a seven-point game.

Most importantly, Ben Simmons has still never lost to the Knicks.

Tobias Harris: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 4 turnovers

With Richardson and Horford, two of the team’s main offensive facilitators, on the bench, it was up to Harris to carry even more of the shot-creation duties. Tobi got off to a slow start, but came alive in the third quarter, scoring nine points in the period to help the Sixers retake the lead. 9-of-16 from the field won’t knock your socks off, but the majority of those attempts were tough shots where Harris had to create something from nothing. To cap off his evening, with the shot clock winding down and just over a minute left in the game, Tobi had an enormous drive to provide some breathing room and put the Sixers up by five.

Norvel Pelle: 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 blocks, 2 turnovers

I felt a shout-out was necessary for Norvel Pelle, who, in his first career NBA game, showed he has an Under Armour-like mentality toward protecting the rim. The 26-year-old will contest whatever comes his way in the restricted area, be it a bull-rushing Julius Randle, a guard feeling frisky, an incoming train, you name it. Sometimes it results in Pelle getting posterized, and sometimes it’s a foul on Norvel, but at other times, the big man earns a highlight block of his own. Any way you slice it, it’s always must-see TV.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over the Knicks?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Joel Embiid
    (288 votes)
  • 64%
    James Ennis
    (764 votes)
  • 4%
    Ben Simmons
    (48 votes)
  • 1%
    Tobias Harris
    (16 votes)
  • 5%
    Norvel Pelle
    (65 votes)
1181 votes total Vote Now