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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 25 - Philadelphia grinds down the Nuggets

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Philadelphia moves to lucky number 13-0 at home

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-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
Tobias Harris - 5
Ben Simmons - 5
Joel Embiid - 4
Matisse Thybulle - 2
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Al Horford - 1
James Ennis - 1

With Denver in town, Philadelphia fans began to experience flashbacks to the disappointing initial meeting between these clubs, as the 12-0 third-quarter run by the Nuggets flipped what was once a 14-point Sixers lead earlier into the game into a 5-point advantage for Denver. However, the Sixers quickly regrouped, retaking the lead by seven points heading into the final period, and keeping the Nuggets at arms-length for an eventual 97-92 victory. It was the third straight win for the Sixers, who are now 13-0 at home this season. Let’s take a look at the Bell Ringer candidates:

Tobias Harris: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover

In the second half, on the occasions when the Sixers were able to space the floor with a 5-out offense, it was like handing Tobias the ingredients to cook. Harris seemed to finally have some room to operate, whether it was knocking down a corner 3 or driving for a pull-up jumper or short hook shot around the basket. Harris also played some strong on-ball defense; both of his credited blocks were plays where his man drove right at him and he was able to tie up the ball as his opponent tried to go up for the shot.

Joel Embiid: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 4 turnovers

It was an odd night for Joel, as he was arguably the most productive Sixer, but I felt like the team was at its best when he was on the bench and they became quicker with more spacing. Still, Embiid had plenty of strong moments, even if Shaq bizarrely said he didn’t want it enough over clips of Joel working Nikola Jokic. He made some very nice reads, including a bounce pass to a backcutting Mike Scott that ranks among the best passes of Joel’s career.

We even got to see the return of Joel the showman when he made a wild, no-look lay-up while getting fouled at the end of the third quarter. Courtesy of Matisse Thybulle being mic’d up by the TNT crew, we learned that Embiid low-key practices that sort of shot, because of course he does.

Matisse Thybulle: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0 turnovers

The limits of this rookie’s game continue to stretch as wide as his smile. For the second game in a row, Thybulle was red-hot from behind the arc, knocking down three of his four attempts from downtown. He also had a pair of confident two-handed dunks off feeds from Ben Simmons in transition, and his five-point spurt to begin the second quarter was the catalyst for the team’s big run in that period. I know plus/minus is far from a perfectly illustrative stat, but Thybulle was a game-high plus-20; no other Sixer was better than plus-9. That fact has to speak to Matisse’s impact on the game at some level.

Al Horford: 11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 4 turnovers

Horford had about the worst first half you’re ever going to see him play, shooting 0-of-4 from the field for zero points with a whopping four turnovers. It was as uncomposed as I can remember seeing Al on a court, Sixers uniform or otherwise. But the good thing about being a veteran in your early-to-mid-30s is you’ve been through it all, and won’t let something like a bad half shake you.

Instead of wallowing or becoming overly passive, Horford shook off his bad first half and dropped nine points in the third quarter, playing a crucial role in the Sixers retaking control of the game. Even when something wasn’t working in the period, like when he missed a 3 from the top of the key, he collected the offensive rebound and rampaged inside for the dunk. That’s a little thing called perseverance. And Al showed it off in spades tonight.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Denver?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Tobias Harris
    (343 votes)
  • 16%
    Joel Embiid
    (225 votes)
  • 56%
    Matisse Thybulle
    (749 votes)
  • 1%
    Al Horford
    (14 votes)
1331 votes total Vote Now