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Sixers Bell Ringer: Philadelphia’s big lead enough to avoid collapse in win over Rockets

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Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 12
Tobias Harris - 5
Ben Simmons - 5
Shake Milton - 3
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Dakota Mathias - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1

For the second time this week, the Sixers had a star unexpectedly sit out on game day, as Ben Simmons was scratched with a non-COVID illness. Still, it looked like all systems go for Philadelphia, who had a clear interior advantage with Houston using 6-foot-5 David Nwaba as a backup center. The Sixers were even hot from the outside early, knocking down 11 first-half 3s to build a 29-point lead.

However, Philadelphia caught the turnover bug in the second half, eventually turning it over 20 times for the game. Houston chipped away at the lead, cutting it all the way down to four points in crunch time. Fortunately, the Sixers’ huge lead proved to be enough to survive the collapse, as they ended their losing skid with a 118-113 win. Bell Ringer time!

Joel Embiid: 31 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 6 turnovers

NBA: Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel made his return to the court after missing the Utah game with a bad back. While you sure would have liked to see Embiid get some extended rest after the Sixers led by 29, it was good he was out there. After a slow start, the big man scored 23 of his 31 in the second half. Embiid’s six turnovers were unacceptable, with a couple weird ones like a palming and a double dribble. But to his credit, Joel did counterbalance them with a season-high nine assists. When his team needed him most, it was Joel getting a pair of huge buckets with a minute-plus left in the game to avoid utter disaster.

Tobias Harris: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers

NBA: Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Tobias did most of his offensive damage in the first quarter, recording 12 points and 4 assists in the period. The bevy of smaller guards and wings the Rockets were forced to throw on Harris had no chance when he bodied them up; Tobi was able to back down for an easy turnaround or strongarm his way in for a little runner. Although he slowed down some offensively, Harris was one of the few Sixers to take care of the basketball, and his 15 rebounds represented a season-high for the forward. Just enough efficient outing where Tobias brought a lot to the table and didn’t hurt the team anywhere.

Seth Curry: 25 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 5 turnovers

NBA: Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Seth shook off what looked like a hand injury early in the game, and had the shot working in the first half. He scored 14 points in the second quarter, connecting on all three of his made triples for the game in the period, including one 4-point play. Ben’s absence meant more ball-handling responsibility for Curry, who scored on some change-of-pace drives to the hoop, but also turned it over five times as a result. Nevertheless, tonight was Seth’s highest scoring performance following his COVID absence.

Matisse Thybulle: 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 4 steals, 1 block, 0 turnovers

Houston Rockets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Thybulle entered the starting lineup in place of Simmons, something that worked to the Sixers’ advantage in that Matisse was the best option to guard John Wall. Although Wall went off in the second half, Matisse frustrated the Rockets point guard early in the game, a big reason why Wall only had two points in the first half. Thybulle got his hands on nearly everything, racking up a crazy amount of deflections in addition to his four steals. He didn’t have any uncomfortable moments on offense either, which was just icing on the cake.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Houston?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Joel Embiid
    (565 votes)
  • 25%
    Tobias Harris
    (314 votes)
  • 13%
    Seth Curry
    (170 votes)
  • 13%
    Matisse Thybulle
    (168 votes)
1217 votes total Vote Now