Sixers regular season Bell Ringer standings:
Joel Embiid- 9
James Harden- 4
Shake Milton- 4
Tyrese Maxey- 3
Paul Reed- 2
Tobias Harris- 2
De’Anthony Melton- 1
Georges Niang- 1
Hoping to tie their longest win streak of the season at three, the Philadelphia 76ers welcomed the upstart Sacramento Kings to town. Behind a well-rounded, dominant offensive showing, they did just that, knocking off Sacramento, 123-103. James Harden produced one of his best performances of the season and was especially dominant in the first half. Joel Embiid dominated an unqualified Kings front line and brought it defensively. Tobias Harris flanked them with complementary offensive contributions. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
James Harden: 21 points, 15 assists, seven rebounds, five steals
Tuesday’s first half might’ve been the finest half of basketball Harden’s played in a Sixers uniform. Picking apart the Kings as both a scorer and facilitator — and snagging takeaways — he tallied 17 points, 10 dimes and five steals before intermission. Philadelphia rollicked Sacramento in transition, and Harden was essential to that. He controlled the tempo and helped his teammates produce numerous easy chances in early offense. On a night full of noteworthy assists, this might’ve been his slickest:
catch lobs, not feelings. pic.twitter.com/nh3sO7SUGq— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 14, 2022
While the second half saw some struggles from the All-Star, he helped slam the door shut on any comeback by spearheading a 9-1 run midway through the fourth quarter that stretched the lead from 15 to 23.
After monumental struggles in his return against the Houston Rockets, Harden’s been stellar, averaging 22.7 points (65 percent true shooting) and 14.3 assists over the past three games. Since 1982-83, he and Allen Iverson are the only Sixers to record at least 20 points, 15 assists and five steals in a game. Iverson did it once. Harden’s now done it twice.
Joel Embiid: 31 points, seven rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block
Embiid raced out to 16 first-quarter points and had 27 prior to halftime. He drew two quick fouls on Domantas Sabonis and three more when his replacement, Neemias Queta, entered the ball game. From there, Chimezie Metu also had no answer. He dominated in transition, cooked from midrange and teamed up with Harden for a few of their usual ball-screen tangoes.
Defensively, Sacramento struggled mightily to generate anything in the paint throughout his minutes, especially in the first quarter. His activity and engagement pervaded across the team, which collectively shut down a top-five offense.
He’s scored 31 or more in five straight games. Had this not been a rout, he might’ve approached 50-plus again. The big fella was tremendous in his 30 minutes of action.
get out the wayyyyy...big fella comin' through pic.twitter.com/D7Vs2Wf53r— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 14, 2022
Tobias Harris: 21 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, one steal, one block
While Harden and Embiid dictated the action on either end, Harris was around to fill in the gaps, particularly as a scorer and connective passer. He helped set the tone with 14 first-quarter points, moved the ball promptly en route to nine assists, including some impressive feeds, and helped fuel a cohesive transition attack. Both on the break and in the half-court, the veteran swingman attacked with force, going 7-of-10 inside the arc. Philadelphia routinely collapsed Sacramento’s defense and Harris took advantage of those openings.
Who is the Sixers’ Bell Ringer in Tuesday’s win over the Kings?
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