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Sixers Bell Ringer: Joel Embiid’s return gives Philadelphia an edge over the Hawks

After a week off, Embiid took the floor and dominated en route to a third straight win for the Sixers.

Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Sixers regular season Bell Ringer standings:

Joel Embiid- 6

James Harden- 4

Shake Milton- 4

Tyrese Maxey- 3

Tobias Harris- 1

Georges Niang- 1

Paul Reed- 1

Dueling with a familiar foe in the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers returned to Wells Fargo Center in search of a third consecutive win. Despite trailing by as many as 16 in the first half, they tightened the screws defensively after intermission and rode Joel Embiid’s offensive exploits to a 104-101 victory over the Hawks. Embiid settled in nicely following a slow start and dominated the fourth quarter. Shake Milton, once again, held down the fort at point guard. Tobias Harris muscled and shot his way to another very good showing. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.

Joel Embiid: 30 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, two steals

Thanks to a crunch-time takeover, Embiid extended his streak of 30 or more points to five games. His midrange jumper was frigid early and some of his interior rotations lagged behind. But he found his way shortly before halftime offensively and really seemed to relish anchoring the Sixers’ 2-3 zone, which flustered Atlanta into various turnovers and ill-advised shots. Over the final 4.5 minutes, he scored or assisted on the Sixers’ final 13 points. After Embiid put the Sixers ahead courtesy of a midrange jumper with 18 seconds remaining, he broke up a lob from Trae Young to collect his second steal and cap off a stellar closing stretch. He and Milton have also developed some valuable rapport out of ball-screens and teamed up to amplify each other throughout much of the second half.

Shake Milton: 21 points, seven assists, five rebounds

Embiid’s running mate in this one, Milton is performing as well as possible amid the lengthy absences of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. He’s now scored 20 or more points in four straight games for the first time in his career. Last season, he only reached that threshold three times in total. He routinely applied his size to find comfortable looks from short midrange, pushed in transition, parlayed Embiid’s roll gravity into open driving lanes and paced himself well to set up the big fella when necessary. Eleven of his 21 points came in the third quarter alone. He’s playing excellently and emerging as the fourth guard Philadelphia needs. He deserves a ton of credit for this run because it’s an integral part of the Sixers staying afloat while their starting backcourt is sidelined.

Tobias Harris: 24 points, 10 rebounds, one assist

Harris continues to bring a steady offensive punch for these undermanned Sixers. He scored 23 or more for the third straight game, mixing bully-ball, mid-post buckets with transition run-outs and a trio of triples. Those three long balls tied his most since Nov. 7 against the Phoenix Suns, another Monday night win by a shorthanded Philadelphia club against a 2021-22 playoff team. Those are the only coincidences, and they’re not that eery, but they’re fun nonetheless. A slew of rotation players have stepped up to keep Philadelphia rolling in recent weeks and Harris is chiefly among them.


Who is the Sixers’ Bell Ringer in Monday’s win over the Hawks?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Joel Embiid
    (518 votes)
  • 12%
    Shake Milton
    (84 votes)
  • 11%
    Tobias Harris
    (82 votes)
684 votes total Vote Now

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