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Sixers Bell Ringer: Game 72 - At Last, Philadelphia’s Lonely Days of Losing to Boston are Over

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More like Marcus Not-So-Smart

NBA: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

For a refresher on what constitutes a Bell Ringer, please reference the initial post.

Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 23
Ben Simmons - 19
Jimmy Butler - 10
JJ Redick - 8
Tobias Harris - 3
Robert Covington - 1
Dario Saric - 1
T.J. McConnell - 1
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Landry Shamet - 1
Corey Brewer - 1
Boban Marjanovic - 1
Mike Scott - 1

For the first time in four attempts this season, the Sixers defeated the rival Boston Celtics and kept Philadelphia fans from staring into the void while spiraling into a dark abyss of self-doubt. Instead, jubilation! The basketball gods are kind and just, and reward those who play with honor and don’t shove guys in the back like a punk. The victory marked the sixth straight for the Sixers, who now find themselves three games ahead of the Pacers and four up on Boston with just ten games remaining.

Joel Embiid: 37 points, 22 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers

Joel Hans Embiid, first of his name, owner of Klaus, slayer of African lions, and messenger of Hulu having live sports, had himself a night. After sitting out the previous night’s game against the Hornets, Embiid looked as fresh as his new pup, obliterating his Boston-related demons and backing up his post-game claim that he’s “the most unstoppable player in the league.”

After I had just written about him getting to the foul line less since his return, Joel went out and shot 20-of-21 from the free throw line. That’s right, Embiid easily tallied more makes and attempts from the charity stripe than the entire Celtics team combined. He bullied defenders down low, showed off guard-like handles in traipsing past them on the perimeter, and even largely kept his cool when noted instigator Marcus Smart gave the cheapest of cheap shots in shoving JoJo in the back.

The scoring was incredible, and the rebounding was dominant, but yet, Embiid’s most impressive play came on the defensive end. With the Sixers holding a three-point lead inside the final minute, Embiid was isolated against Kyrie Irving. Though Irving was able to drive past him, Joel recovered brilliantly to get the block from behind, and then had the presence of mind to get back into position for the contested rebound. It was a master class in Survival Tactics: How Enormous Men Can Still Thrive in Positionless Basketball. What a joy to watch this man play.

Jimmy Butler: 22 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists

After the game, Jimmy admitted he was tired from last night’s game and had told Joel to get the team to the fourth quarter and he would take it from there. Mission accomplished. Following a quiet first three quarters, Philadelphia’s closer exploded for 15 fourth quarter points, shooting 3-of-5 from 3-point range and sealing the win with a mid-range jumper with seconds left. As the ball cascaded through the net, Jimmy hit ‘em with the freeze frame, because not only does Jimmy G. Buckets win games, he wins them with style.

Ben Simmons: 13 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers

Remember when Simmons was absolutely flummoxed by the Celtics defense? Well, he’s looking more and more comfortable against them. Ben had the go-ahead three-point play with 40 seconds remaining, and while he largely deferred to Embiid early and Butler late, he contributed to the win in a variety of ways.

Whether it was returning energy to the building with a huge block...

Or dropping a dime through the thinnest of cracks in the time-space continuum...

Or even just embarrassing current enemy number one Marcus Smart...

It was a strong outing from the man who just 11 months ago was being benched for T.J. McConnell in a similar situation, and a good note on which to end the (regular) season series.

Tobias Harris: 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover

Early on, as the likes of Terry Rozier morphed into prime Ray Allen and the Celtics couldn’t miss a shot, Harris dropped 12 first quarter points to help the Sixers stay within striking distance. Philadelphia was not shy about attacking the mismatch when he was defended by a smaller guard, the sort of gamesmanship the Celtics have always been only too happy to exploit against the Sixers. Tobi then bookended his evening with a productive fourth quarter, going a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line for 8 points in the period. I also liked how Harris was the first guy to go over and calm Embiid down in the wake of the Smart cheap shot — The Connector!

Poll

Who is your Bell Ringer in the epic win over Boston?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Joel Embiid
    (1177 votes)
  • 30%
    Jimmy Butler
    (535 votes)
  • 1%
    Ben Simmons
    (29 votes)
  • 0%
    Tobias Harris
    (4 votes)
1745 votes total Vote Now