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Sixers Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid’s 42 points in return overshadowed by loss to Minnesota

A lackluster game from the supporting cast prevented Philadelphia from notching its 11th win of the year.

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Philadelphia 76ers Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings

Tyrese Maxey: 5

Seth Curry: 4

Tobias Harris: 3

Andre Drummond: 3

Joel Embiid: 2

Furkan Korkmaz: 1

Charles Bassey: 1

Welcoming Joel Embiid back to the lineup after a three-week hiatus and playing their first game inside Wells Fargo Center since Nov. 11, the Philadelphia 76ers pushed the Minnesota Timberwolves to double overtime before falling, 121-120. They eliminated a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter and had countless chances to win, but turnovers and stagnant offensive possessions burned them. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.

Joel Embiid: 42 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, one steal

Suiting up for the first time since Nov. 6, Embiid was slow out of the gates. He missed various routine shots, was late on some defensive rotations and appeared to be figuring out how to reintegrate himself offensively on a possession-by-possession basis. The second half proved much more favorable for him, however, and he dominated following intermission. Among the third and fourth quarters, and two overtimes, he registered 32 points, 10 rebounds, one assist and two blocks in just 30 minutes.

By physically overwhelming Minnesota’s interior defenders (and, maybe, getting a generous whistle at times), he paraded to the charity stripe for a season-high 21 free throws en route to a season-high 42 points. Before some costly late-game turnovers, he seamlessly picked apart double-teams to produce good looks for teammates and drilled critical bucket after critical bucket.

Defensively, his quick hands, awareness and instincts flummoxed the Timberwolves. He altered or prevented many shots in the paint and his heightened activity was a major component in an improved defense after the break. He didn’t garner much help from his teammates in this one, but still nearly led the Sixers to victory.

Danny Green: 11 points, four steals, three assists

Once again confined to a minutes restriction, Green found a way to be highly impactful in his brief — albeit increased from Wednesday — stint. All four of his steals occurred in the third quarter, when he really shined defensively. He authored a few stout on-ball possessions against Anthony Edwards, was lively off the ball in picking up takeaways and helped key a much stingier defensive stretch than seen in the first half. During his entire 22 minutes, he cashed a trio of triples, buried a late clock pull-up and delivered a nifty skip pass for a Seth Curry long ball. He continues to fill the gaps for this team, as he’s done for much of his tenure in Philadelphia and across the league.

Usually, there’d be at least three members present in the Bell Ringer poll, but nobody else felt deserving. Matisse Thybulle had a few impressive plays in the second, but also was a detriment to the offense for long periods and didn’t offer much before halftime. If you feel I wrongfully omitted someone, let me know in the comments!

Poll

Who is Saturday’s Bell Ringer against the Timberwolves?

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Joel Embiid
    (521 votes)
  • 2%
    Danny Green
    (16 votes)
  • 3%
    Someone else (comment!)
    (21 votes)
558 votes total Vote Now