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Playoff Bell Ringer: Series tied again after 103-100 Atlanta win

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Concerns are looming

2021 NBA Playoffs - Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer playoff standings:

Joel Embiid - 3
Ben Simmons - 3
Tobias Harris - 1
George Hill - 1

The Sixers led by as many as 18 points in the first half, and many a Philadelphia fan was thinking about this series getting closed out at home Wednesday night. However, already down Danny Green in the starting lineup, the Sixers would see MVP finalist Joel Embiid head to the locker room for medical attention early in the second quarter, presumably for his injured knee. He would return to the court a few minutes later, but he definitely looked physically wiped the rest of the game, resulting in a disastrous 0-of-12 from the field in the second half.

Without the straw that stirs the drink, Philadelphia’s offense fell apart, and Atlanta retook the lead early in the fourth quarter. Things would toggle back and forth, and eventually the Sixers had the ball down by one with 16 seconds remaining. A pick-and-roll action saw Tobias Harris hit a rolling Embiid, who had as good a look at you could want on a go-ahead lay-up, but botched it. Trae Young would hit two free throws and Seth Curry’s attempt at a game-tying 3, while double-clutching with two guys on him, hit back iron (and was later ruled after the buzzer anyway). Atlanta tied the series at 2-2 with the 103-100 win, and we have to pick tonight’s Bell Ringer while pondering a guaranteed return to Atlanta and Embiid’s health status.

Seth Curry: 17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 2 turnovers

2021 NBA Playoffs - Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The best Curry was cooking tonight, finishing 7-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Even in their better first half, the Sixers weren’t exactly running crisp offense. A lot of their success came from Seth creating something out of nothing and bailing out the team with his shot-making towards the end of the shot clock. Curry sank an array of stepback jumpers, and was able to create separation for himself in the mid-range against the Hawks’ guards. It’s only fitting that Seth had another strong postseason performance on the day the article came out in The Athletic about the dysfunction in the Dallas front office.

Shake Milton: 8 points, 3 assists, 1 turnover

2021 NBA Playoffs - Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Shake’s numbers don’t jump off the page — 2-of-7 shooting certainly isn’t anything to write home about — but all eight of his points came in his six-minute run during the fourth quarter, as it looked like he would be the second-half savior for the second time in this series. Milton worked his way into the lane against Kevin Huerter for a three-point play to put the Sixers back up four, and one minute later, canned a wide-open 3 from the wing. Real recognize real:

Tobias Harris: 20 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 turnover

2021 NBA Playoffs - Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Tobias was terrific for the first three quarters, scoring all 20 points in the game’s first 36 minutes. Atlanta downsized by inserting Kevin Huerter into the starting lineup, and Harris often found himself with either Huerter of Bogdan Bogdanovic on him, either of whom he could take to the woodshed by getting to the rim or backing down enough to can a mid-range jumper. His two 3-pointers came about 30 seconds apart midway through the second quarter to help the Sixers earn some separation prior to halftime. However, there was some bad for Tobi, as you don’t want your team’s co-closer to go scoreless in the final period, although it’s hard to fault him for finding the rolling Joel on the last-minute play. Harris was also responsible for most of John Collins’ five offensive rebounds, including the crucial one with a little more than two minutes left in the game that gave the Hawks fresh life.

Ben Simmons: 11 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers

Philadelphia 76ers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Four Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Like many Sixers tonight, Ben played well in the first half, not so much in the second. He was two points and three assists shy of a triple-double prior to halftime, getting loose for a couple dunks in transition (one a forceful follow off the offensive rebound). Simmons also recognized Huerter or Trae Young on him for a pair of post-up buckets. You love the 9:0 assist-to-turnover ratio, with Ben finding a cutting Furkan Korkmaz and Tobias Harris through really tight windows. Unlike Game 3, though, the Sixers didn’t decide to feature Ben coming out of halftime, as the point guard barely touched the ball in the second half. I realize Ben’s main value came in his combating Trae Young on the defensive end, but with Joel missing everything he put up, it would have been helpful for the team’s other All-Star to have more than one shot attempt in the second half.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer in the Game 4 loss to Atlanta?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Seth Curry
    (611 votes)
  • 4%
    Shake Milton
    (99 votes)
  • 5%
    Tobias Harris
    (110 votes)
  • 58%
    Ben Simmons
    (1173 votes)
1993 votes total Vote Now