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Sixers Bell Ringer: MVP performance from Joel Embiid powers Philadelphia to big win over the Bucks

The MVP candidate did MVP things.

Philadelphia 76ers v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:

Joel Embiid: 25

Tyrese Maxey: 12

Seth Curry: 8

Tobias Harris: 4

Andre Drummond: 3

Matisse Thybulle: 2

Furkan Korkmaz: 1

Charles Bassey: 1

Paul Millsap: 1

In what was arguably their most thrilling game of the season, the Philadelphia 76ers wrapped up their pre-All-Star Break schedule with a riveting 123-120 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Both teams were missing key players (James Harden, Brook Lopez, Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton), but the superstar MVP candidates came to play. This was an absolute doozy of a prime-time battle. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.

Joel Embiid: 42 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, one steal

After seeing his 23-game streak with 25 or more points snapped in Tuesday’s blowout loss, Embiid began a new run, notching 40-plus points for the second time in three games. He drilled a trio of long balls, was absolutely money off the bounce from midrange — canning various pull ups over multiple defenders — and got to the line 14 times.

Midway through the second quarter, the Sixers replaced Matisse Thybulle with Furkan Korkmaz in the starting unit and Embiid feasted amid the four-out spacing. He and Tyrese Maxey carved up Milwaukee’s defense via the pick-and-roll and while he committed six turnovers, he was very good passing against double-teams. His final bucket, a one-legged fader over Bobby Portis, also gave the Sixers the lead for good.

Late in the game, he helped force a turnover on a key possession against Giannis Antetokounmpo, who played spectacularly in his own right. Embiid was dynamite, as he’s long been this season, and shepherded Philadelphia to an impressive win.

Georges Niang: 18 points, six rebounds, two assists

Niang replaced Danny Green in the Harden-less starting five and produced his finest game in weeks. His five triples matched a season-high and his 18 points were the most he’s scored since 19 against the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 28. The Bucks routinely sent help on Embiid and Niang was ready to quickly fire open looks, whether he was one pass away or converting a hockey assist from the big fella. He also was the primary assignment on Antetokounmpo and didn’t look entirely lost, even if the MVP bested him with ease a number of times. He drew a charge in transition and bothered the superstar forward on occasion.

When Antetokounmpo knocked down a three to push Milwaukee’s lead to four late in the final frame, Niang immediately responded with one of his own. The bucket kickstarted an 8-0 run that turned the score from 112-116 to 120-116 in the Sixers’ favor. He was nails all game.

Furkan Korkmaz: 13 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal

Talk about a rust-buster, eh? Korkmaz came into this one averaging just 6.4 points on 49.8 percent true shooting over his past seven games. But he snapped out of that funk to the tune of 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-4 beyond the arc. He played so well that head coach Doc Rivers elected to firmly roll with him over Thybulle midway through the second period. Korkmaz made good on that trust and effectively spaced the floor for Embiid to cook. He also grabbed some critical rebounds in the second half, providing a lift on the glass for a team in desperate need of it. Fun, valuable game for the mercurial wing.

Poll

Who is Thursday’s Bell Ringer?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Joel Embiid
    (1456 votes)
  • 7%
    Georges Niang
    (124 votes)
  • 2%
    Furkan Korkmaz
    (41 votes)
1621 votes total Vote Now