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Sixers Playoff Bell Ringer: Season slips away in final two minutes of Game 3

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Basketball should be fun, right?

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Three Photo by Kim Klement - Pool/Getty Images

If you need a Bell Ringer refresher, check out the first such post of the season. Here are the full season standings, which include the Bubble games:

Playoff Bell Ringer Standings

Joel Embiid - 2 (Boston - Game 1, Game 2)

With their backs against the wall down 2-0 in the series, the Sixers couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean in Game 3, shooting 28-of-95 (29.5 percent) from the field. But they showed up like you would want your team to with the season on the line. They fought. They clawed. They collected 20 offensive rebounds. And they held a 94-92 lead and had possession with under two minutes remaining. Then, everything fell apart.

The Sixers got the ball to Joel Embiid on the block, but faced with a Boston double team, the big man tried to throw an extremely weak cross-court pass, which was picked off and eventually led to a Jaylen Brown three-point play on the ensuing fast break. Now down by one on the next possession, Shake Milton hit a rolling Embiid, who ran into a wall in the form of Enes Kanter and was blocked from behind by Jayson Tatum while awkwardly falling down on his shot attempt. A clear path foul by Josh Richardson led to what was eventually another three-point possession for the Celtics.

Suddenly down by four, Josh Richardson had his corner 3 attempt blocked by Tatum. Two more possessions yielded ugly, contested looks from 3 from Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid. The game ended on a 10-0 Boston run and a 102-94 defeat for the Sixers. All that is left to decide is whether or not this series sweep will be of the gentleman variety.

Bell Ringer candidates, because why not stick to tradition as we wind down this perverse season:

Joel Embiid: 30 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers

The final possessions with game (and season) on the line were brutal, no two ways about it. I’m sure the Embiid detractors will point to them in no small frequency. But the Sixers wouldn’t have even been in the game if not for Joel, especially in the first half when he collected 22 points and 10 rebounds. He dealt with some foul trouble after halftime, and it wasn’t exactly a banner night for him in shooting 7-of-20 from the floor, but he got to the foul line 16 times, and did much better showing out high on the defensive end to give the guards enough time to recover on the pick-and-rolls. Darn shame about those last two minutes, though.

Josh Richardson: 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers

Josh was willing to take 3s tonight, which was good. Not as good was his ability to make them, as he shot just 3-of-11 from behind the arc as part of his 5-of-17 overall night from the field. However, he finally showed up on the defensive end in a big way. Richardson made disruptive plays, including the block of Marcus Smart where he flew from out of nowhere. He also did a great job denying the ball and then staying in front and contesting shots when his man was able to get it. Welcome back, Good Defender Josh Richardson. I wish we had a competitive series in which to see more of you.

Shake Milton: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers

Like literally every Sixer, Milton had an inefficient night shooting the basketball, finishing 6-of-18 from the floor. He stepped up and hit big shots in the fourth quarter, though, scoring seven points in the final frame on 3-of-6 shooting. His driving floater out of the pick-and-roll to put the Sixers back in front with about four-and-a-half minutes left was a big-time play. Great to see the second-year guard not shrink from the moment.

Poll

Who is the Playoff Bell Ringer in the Game 3 loss to Boston?

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    Joel Embiid
    (275 votes)
  • 10%
    Josh Richardson
    (40 votes)
  • 17%
    Shake Milton
    (69 votes)
384 votes total Vote Now