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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 20 - Sixers top Pacers in T.J. McConnell’s return

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Philadelphia moves to 9-0 at home

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Philadelphia 76ers James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

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
James Ennis - 1

In the midst of a heart-warming T.J. McConnell tribute video, the Sixers built a 15-point second-quarter lead, only to blow it and head into the halftime locker room tied at 65 with Indiana. Things remained close from there on out, with neither team ever leading by more than three points during the fourth quarter. However, two Ben Simmons steals within a six-second span in the final moments of the game proved to be the difference, enabling the Sixers to earn a hard-fought 119-116 victory.

Joel Embiid: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers

Joel has taken his physicality to the next level, as Saturday night marked his third straight game with at least 14 free throw attempts, going a perfect 15-of-15 from the foul line. Embiid drew two quick fouls on Myles Turner (who finished the night with five personals) to send him to the bench early, and then eventually fouled out Domantas Sabonis by drawing contact on back-to-back possessions with two minutes left in the game.

Getting the opposition in foul trouble while making all your free throws is about as efficient an offense as a coach could dream up. Embiid even showcased his diverse offensive game by knocking down a handful of jump shots. Joel’s highlight of the night, though, might have been early in the game when he showed Malcolm Brogdon who the real Rookie of the Year was:

Ben Simmons: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 13 assists, 4 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers

Ben was not connecting on his forays to the rim at the usual clip, shooting just 4-of-13 from the field. To his credit, however, he kept attacking, enabling him to earn seven attempts at the foul line, where (pause for dramatic effect) he made all seven! Really, though, Simmons made his mark on this win with his work on the defensive end. He was terrific throughout the game, but really turned things up in crunch time.

With 14 seconds left, he read a driving T.J. Warren’s intention and jumped the passing lane back out to the 3-point line, leading to a run-out and assist to a streaking Tobias Harris for the go-ahead points. On the next Indiana possession, Simmons intercepted Jeremy Lamb’s in-bounds pass and managed to save the ball to Harris before falling out-of-bounds. Ben would seal the victory by snagging Lamb’s full-court pass out of the air with a few seconds left. Just a dynamite effort from Simmons on the defensive side of the court.

Al Horford: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover

One night after receiving a load management rest day, Big Al looked to have fresh legs under him, connecting on 3-of-4 shots from behind the arc. As usual, Horford made good decisions in the half court; his find of Mike Scott under the basket from the top of the arc was a terrific read. Plus, he somehow played 32 minutes of solid defense without fouling, in a game where the two teams combined 61 free throw attempts, so you know the refs weren’t swallowing the whistles.

Tobias Harris: 22 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers

All night long, Harris recognized when available scoring opportunities were there, either in transition or when a big man was on him and he could drive to the hoop. Mainly, though, Tobi was outstanding in the fourth quarter, dropping 14 points in the frame to keep the Sixers on pace with Indiana. His 3-pointer with four-and-half minutes left tied the game at a crucial moment when things could have slipped away for Philadelphia. And of course, his effort racing down the floor allowed Ben Simmons to find him after the steal for the go-ahead dunk.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Joel Embiid
    (593 votes)
  • 60%
    Ben Simmons
    (991 votes)
  • 0%
    Al Horford
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    Tobias Harris
    (44 votes)
1638 votes total Vote Now