For a refresher on our Bell Ringer series, take a look back at our first post of the season.
Bell Ringer Standings
Ben Simmons - 12
Tobias Harris - 9
Joel Embiid - 8
Josh Richardson - 8
Matisse Thybulle - 3
Furkan Korkmaz - 2
Al Horford - 1
James Ennis - 1
Heading into a mid-afternoon tip against Brooklyn on MLK Day, the Sixers received a double dose of good news: big man Al Horford would be able to play through his sprained hand and start, while Brooklyn point guard Kyrie Irving would be out with hamstring tightness.
Still, the Sixers found themselves down by nine points with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter. That’s when Ben Simmons and the Sixers would turn the tide, however, going on a 15-0 run spanning the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter. Although the Nets would never regain the lead, it still took a Furkan Korkmaz 3 with 24 seconds left and a pair of clutch free throws by Josh Richardson to seal the 117-111 victory. It’s the first four-game winning streak for the Sixers in 2020. Let’s select today’s Bell Ringer:
Ben Simmons: 34 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 steals, 2 blocks, 3 turnovers
Simmons received Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors prior to Monday’s game, and that designation doesn’t even begin to feel like enough for how all-important he was for the Sixers in Brooklyn. He played 42 minutes, covering every position on the court, from being the primary defender against Spencer Dinwiddie (who ended up shooting just 6-of-17 from the field with five turnovers), to guarding the opposing center during his second-half minutes as the backup five.
Offensively, Ben had yet another dominant, aggressive first half, and then played like there were two first halves. He tied a career-high with 34 points, shooting 12-of-14 from the field, and a you’ll-take-that-any-day 10-of-14 from the foul line. Ben was dunking in transition or out of post-ups, flipping in bank shots, and dropping in baby sky hooks. The “willing his team to victory” thing often comes across as cliche, but I don’t really don’t know how else to describe Simmons’ performance against the Nets. He had eight points and two assists during that pivotal 15-0 run, finishing with his fourth triple-double of the season. He did it all.
Al Horford: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 turnover
Thank goodness Al was able to play through his injury this afternoon, because one more minute and Jonah Bolden probably would have fouled out. As an added bonus, Horford had an excellent outing, knocking down nine of his 15 shots and mostly doing a good job navigating Brooklyn’s pick-and-roll attack on the defensive side of the ball. He had another really nice high-low pass to Simmons underneath; it definitely helps Ben having a big man with the passing instincts and the ability to stretch the floor of an Al Horford.
Josh Richardson: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover
J-Rich wasn’t needed as much on the offensive end with Simmons taking on more of a primary ball-handling role than normal, but he was efficient with his opportunities, shooting 6-of-12 from the floor, 1-of-2 from 3, and those two game-clinching free throws in the final moments.
Matisse Thybulle: 3 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 1 block, 2 turnovers
It wasn’t a standout shooting performance from Matisse, who missed all five of his 3-point attempts, and only went 1-for-3 at the charity stripe, but who cares if his shot is falling when he roams the court defensively like the Cloverfield monster. Between Simmons and Thybulle, the Nets had to be feeling claustrophobic on the mere 4,700 square feet of hardwood. Matisse made a great play poking the ball away from Caris LeVert from behind, leading to a runout dunk for his lone bucket of the game, and grabbed a pass for Garrett Temple right in front of his face like a bully snatching away a bagged lunch. Plus, this steal and save by Thybulle was followed by an offensive rebound for him as part of the never-say-die sequence for the Sixers.
Man what a steal and save by Thybulle pic.twitter.com/Zf8JCfIqUY— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) January 20, 2020
Who is your Bell Ringer for the win in Brooklyn?
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