For a refresher on our Bell Ringer series, take a look back at our first post of the season.
Bell Ringer Standings
Tobias Harris - 8
Joel Embiid - 8
Ben Simmons - 8
Josh Richardson - 7
Matisse Thybulle - 3
Furkan Korkmaz - 1
Al Horford - 1
James Ennis - 1
After Joel Embiid left the game (and later re-entered) with a severely dislocated finger, the Sixers ripped off a 13-2 run towards the end of the second quarter to take a double-digit lead. Behind relentless work on the offensive glass by Steven Adams (24 points, 15 rebounds) and savvy all-around play from Chris Paul (18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists), the Thunder hung around and had it as a one-possession game in the closing minutes. However, a 7-0 run gave the Sixers some breathing room inside the final minute, and they would hang on for the 120-113 victory to snap a four-game losing streak. A Bell Ringer is so much sweeter after a win!
Ben Simmons: 17 points, 15 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers
Before the game, Brett Brown said, in response to a question about his declaration for Ben Simmons to take one 3-pointer per game: “Evidently, I have failed.” While that may be the case, he hasn’t failed in helping develop Ben into the sort of dominant player we saw Monday night. Though he came two assists shy of a triple-double, Simmons was out there spraying passes around the court like John Wick spraying bullets. Some of his looks were simply spectacular: a casual one-handed 30-foot pass off the dribble to Josh Richardson under the basket, a lightning-quick cross-court feed out of the post for an open 3, a rocketed pass half the length of the court to James Ennis to catch the defense before it was ready.
Then, there was Ben’s work on the boards, as he grabbed a season-high 15. Simmons had two key offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, one fighting through two Thunder defenders to tip the ball out to Tobias Harris in a two-point game with less than three minutes remaining. He was also aggressive in attacking the basket, going 5-of-6 from the foul line and going right at his man in a half-court set to put the Sixers up six with a minute and a half remaining. Tonight was definitely a “let’s appreciate the many things Ben Simmons does do” kind of night.
Josh Richardson: 23 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover
J-Rich had another strong game as a pick-and-roll ball handler, partnering up with both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to great success. Josh repeatedly carved his way into the teeth of the Thunder defense for mid-range floaters or finishes around the rim with either hand. He shot 9-of-17 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from 3, with both triples coming in the final two minutes of the second quarter as part of that initial big Sixers surge. With Embiid’s finger bothering him, and Tobias Harris mired in foul trouble, it was up to Josh to carry more of the scoring burden than usual and he was up to the task.
Joel Embiid: 18 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 turnovers
I’m not going to show you Joel’s dislocated finger, or the unhuman angle at which it was bent, in case you’re eating or ever have plans to eat again. But let it be known that Embiid had his finger treated and taped to the one next to it, then re-entered the game and within 30 seconds had dove on the floor twice for loose balls. He then went on to record a season-high eight assists, including a shovel to Ben Simmons in extremely tight quarters underneath, and a handful of picture-perfect post entry feeds from the high post. Embiid even stepped up when his team needed him most in the scoring department, tallying a team-high eight fourth-quarter points, even getting a hook down low over Steven Adams. Gutty, gutty outing from Joel.
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Tobias Harris: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover
Limited to just eight minutes in the second half due to foul trouble and an eventual six-foul dismissal, Harris made his finite time on the court count. Nobody embraced Brett Brown’s pre-game “hunting 3s” ethos more than Tobi, who went 4-of-6 from downtown for the game, including a perfect 3-of-3 in the first quarter. It wasn’t just outside shooting from Harris, however. He made a sharp pass to Embiid for a bucket out of a dribble-handoff, fought down low to create a seal for an easy dunk, and charged downcourt for a ferocious slam. The 3-ball was his main calling card, though, as he eventually put the nail in the coffin with his shot from the corner with 55 seconds remaining.
Trey Burke: 12 points, 2 assists, 1 turnover
Once again, Burke added a much-needed splash of zippy playmaking to the lineup, while also knocking down two of his three 3-point attempts on his way to an overall 5-of-7 night from the field. It’s nice to have a guard out there who, upon catching Steven Adams on a switch, can dart past him for a reverse lay-up. He and Embiid had a nice thing going out of the pick-and-roll, with Burke able to hit the pull-up jumper, feint the screen and drive to the hoop, or find Joel on the switch after for an easy bucket underneath. Trey just brings an additional dimension to the offense.
Al Horford: 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers
I don’t think we’ve stopped Sixers fans from inserting Al Horford into the trade machine for good, but tonight was a positive performance from the recently-maligned big man. A spin move in the post against Danilo Gallinari was as spry as I’ve seen Al look in quite some time, and he hit an assortment of banks, hooks, and face-up jumpers on his way to an efficient 6-of-10 shooting performance. Toss in four assists, a couple of the “turn a find the open man opposite” variety, and it was the understated, yet effective, game fans would gladly accept from Horford on a consistent basis.
Who is the Bell Ringer for the win over Oklahoma City?
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