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Sixers Bell Ringer: Philadelphia holds on against star-depleted Brooklyn

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First place!

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer season standings:

Joel Embiid - 19
Tobias Harris - 13
Ben Simmons - 7
Shake Milton - 5
Matisse Thybulle - 2
Danny Green - 2
Tyrese Maxey - 2
Furkan Korkmaz - 2
Dakota Mathias - 1
Tony Bradley - 1

With James Harden and Kevin Durant both unavailable, Brooklyn’s remaining “Big 3” member did his best to keep the Nets in the game Wednesday night. But despite Kyrie Irving’s 37 points, the Sixers were able to extend their lead to from 10 to 22 points with an early fourth-quarter surge. However, Brooklyn’s second unit would actually propel their team back into contention, making it a one-possession game with less than two minutes remaining. Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash made the somewhat curious decision to never re-insert Irving into the game, and the Sixers were able to do just enough to hold on for the 123-117 win and grab sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference. Let’s choose tonight’s Bell Ringer.

Joel Embiid: 39 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

We still don’t know how the Sixers will defend Brooklyn’s trio of elite shotmakers if and when they’re all healthy, but we do know with all certainty that the Nets have absolutely no way to stop Joel Embiid. Philadelphia’s star big man hit three of his six 3-point attempts, and when he’s knocking down those shots and fadeaway jumpers, it practically feels unfair. His one-footed floater in the lane in the third quarter was poetic, while he also wasn’t afraid to throw his body around and pummel his way down to the rim for lay-ups and dunks. Then, when he whipped out the “Cameroon step,” you just had to laugh and appreciate the fact that you get to root for this guy on your favorite basketball team.

Tobias Harris: 26 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Playing through an achy knee that would actually prompt Doc Rivers to rest him in the home stretch of the game, Tobi had a terrific effort nonetheless. The Goldfish commercial star shot 11-of-17 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from downtown, feasting on Joe Harris in particular with his rugged forays to the rim. The second quarter was a masterclass from Tobi, who scored 13 points on a perfect mark of 6-of-6 shooting in the period. If this is Harris when he’s limping around, the rest of the East better look out when he’s healthy.

Ben Simmons: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Although he didn’t shut down an opposing star tonight like he did Luka Doncic, Simmons did show off his defensive prowess with a trio of steals in the third quarter, two of which were incredible read-and-react plays on his part to intercept Nets passes. As usual, Ben racked up the 3-point assists; his find of Mike Scott in the corner off a drive was particularly impressive. Brooklyn was happy to play way off Ben defensively, and while I’m sure it made things harder for his Sixers teammates (particularly Joel Embiid underneath), Simmons chipped in just enough with the well-timed cut or driving finger-roll bucket here and there.

Shake Milton: 15 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

After Furkan Korkmaz lit it up the past two games, Shake grabbed the Sixth Man of the Game baton back tonight with a strong 6-of-8 night from the floor. Milton was the catalyst of the Sixers’ big fourth-quarter run to (momentarily) break the game wide open, scoring seven points and assisting on a Korkmaz 3 in the opening couple minutes of the frame. His 3-of-4 night from behind the arc, including a loooong contested triple in the fourth quarter, was great to see for a guy having a down year in that department.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the win over Brooklyn?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Joel Embiid
    (1106 votes)
  • 9%
    Tobias Harris
    (128 votes)
  • 5%
    Ben Simmons
    (69 votes)
  • 1%
    Shake Milton
    (15 votes)
1318 votes total Vote Now