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Sixers Bell Ringer: Sixers celebrate Joel Embiid’s birthday with close win in Cleveland

Happy Birthday, Joel!

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:

Joel Embiid: 29
Tyrese Maxey: 15
Seth Curry: 8
Tobias Harris: 5
Andre Drummond: 3
James Harden: 2
Matisse Thybulle: 2
Furkan Korkmaz: 1
Charles Bassey: 1
Paul Millsap: 1

For the second straight game, the Sixers jumped out to a huge early lead (19-4 tonight), only to completely lose it by the third quarter. Philadelphia’s bench is officially a problem (not a PROBLEM in the good social-media way); Cleveland’s second unit outscored that of the Sixers, 41-13. Fortunately, the starters buckled down in crunch time, pulling out a tense 118-114 victory. It would have been criminal to blow yet another huge lead in a loss on Joel Embiid’s 28th birthday. Now for Bell Ringer.

Joel Embiid: 35 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 turnovers

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

On his birthday, what do you get the man who has everything? Bench help would be nice, but barring that, a win will have to do. Questionable to even play tonight due to back soreness after a rough fall late in the Denver game, Embiid showed no ill effects at the start of this contest. The big man hit his first six shots from the field and finished the opening frame with 13 points and eight rebounds. It’s simply not fair for the opposition when Embiid has his outside shot working like he did tonight, and as outstanding as Evan Mobley was as an off-ball defender in this game, he is far too undersized to deal with Joel on the interior. Embiid was the straw that stirred the drink all night long, and added to his elite crunch-time numbers on the season with a couple late scoring possessions to help keep the game just out of reach.

Tyrese Maxey: 25 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

I continue to be amazed at how poised Tyrese Maxey is in just his second NBA season. Mad Max has incredible body control around the rim, absorbing the contact and either contorting to finish around defenders or fading back to float the shot in over them. After a few down games from the outside, Tyrese also had the jumper back working, finishing 3-of-6 from behind the arc, including the huge shot with just outside of a minute left to give the Sixers a four-point advantage. Maxey even hustled his butt off and tracked down the defensive rebound following a missed Cavaliers free throw in the closing seconds, icing the victory.

Tobias Harris: 19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 2 turnovers

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Although lately, the Sixers haven’t been the world-beaters they looked like when James Harden first took the court for the team, the good news is that Tobias Harris looks to be finding his comfort zone. Tobi was very efficient on the offensive end tonight, shooting 8-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-6 from downtown. The common thread on most good Harris nights was present, his being quick and decisive once the ball hits his hands. We saw that tonight, whether he was going hard coast-to-coast for the lay-in, or letting it fly with a quick trigger from the outside.

Poll

Who is the Bell Ringer for the win in Cleveland?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Joel Embiid
    (826 votes)
  • 8%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (85 votes)
  • 8%
    Tobias Harris
    (87 votes)
998 votes total Vote Now