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Sixers Bell Ringer: Sixers end season’s first half on high note with overtime win over Utah

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NBA: Utah Jazz at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Bell Ringer Season Standings:

Joel Embiid - 15
Ben Simmons - 7
Tobias Harris - 6
Shake Milton - 4
Tyrese Maxey - 1
Dakota Mathias - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1

Right before the All-Star break, Sixers fans were treated to one last highly entertaining basketball game to close out the season’s first half. Tonight’s contest had playoff-like intensity, with Donovan Mitchell picking up two technical fouls to get the ol’ heave-ho, a lot of chirping about the officiating, and plenty of trolling or bitter comments after the game. Facing the team with the league’s best record, the Sixers trailed Utah for much of the game, before Joel Embiid forced overtime by nailing a 3 with six seconds left in regulation. The Sixers were then finally able to pull away in the last two minutes of overtime, prevailing 131-123 to carry the mantle of first place in the East into the break. Who’s your Bell Ringer?

Joel Embiid: 40 points, 19 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers

Utah Jazz v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Facing the guy most people outside of Philadelphia consider the best defender in the league, JoJo went off for his fifth 40-point game of the season. We saw one-legged fadeaways, face-up jumpers, smart reads in the pick-and-roll, and some good old-fashioned bully ball right into Gobert’s chest. Oh, and Joel can play some defense himself. He had two huge blocks of both Gobert and Donovan Mitchell late in the fourth quarter. Then, that block of Mitchell in the waning seconds of the game was followed by Embiid backing up and hitting this ridiculous game-tying 3 from the wing to force overtime. We’re running out of ways to describe what an incredible season the big man is putting together.

Tobias Harris: 22 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 0 turnovers

Utah Jazz v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Tobias easily could have sat out tonight’s game; after missing a couple games with a bruised knee, missing the last game before the All-Star break would have even been called prudent by much of the fan base. But if Harris hadn’t given it a go tonight, the Sixers wouldn’t have notched a win against the best in the West. After a rusty regulation, Tobi put the team on his back in overtime, scoring 11 of the team’s 13 points during basketball. First against Bojan Bogdanovic, then Royce O’Neale, Harris bullied his way to the rim, and eventually countered with a sweet baseline fadeaway to make it a three-point game with inside of two minutes remaining. The closer was back!

Ben Simmons: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 5 turnovers

Utah Jazz v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Simmons had a solid, if unspectacular game offensively, shooting 8-of-11 from the field on his usual array of finger-rolls and hook shots. The defensive end was where Ben made his mark on this win, though. Donovan “Doesn’t Understand What Rookie Means” Mitchell did score 33 points, but they came on 34 shots, which is a trade-off you’ll take every time as the opposition. Then, overtime was where Simmons really made his Defensive Player of the Year statement. Ben was draped all over Mitchell in the extra frame, forcing Utah’s star guard into 0-of-5 shooting. The going gets tough, the tough get going, and Mitchell goes looking for a dictionary.

Seth Curry: 14 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover

Seth was quiet against Indiana, but the whole team was running well so it wasn’t like he was needed. So let’s call tonight his bounce-back game from Saturday’s 1-of-13 monstrosity. Curry picked his spots, but turned it on after halftime to help the Sixers keep pace, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from the field (2-of-2 from 3) in the second half of regulation.

Dwight Howard: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 0 turnovers

A Dwight Howard 3 in the fourth quarter of a hotly-contested game? You betcha! With the All-Star break now upon us, Dwight only had to play 12 minutes behind Embiid, but he made those minutes count. Howard had great energy, and no turnovers or fouls! The whole positive Dwight package!

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Utah?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Joel Embiid
    (1568 votes)
  • 4%
    Tobias Harris
    (84 votes)
  • 3%
    Ben Simmons
    (55 votes)
  • 0%
    Seth Curry
    (4 votes)
  • 6%
    Dwight Howard
    (114 votes)
1825 votes total Vote Now