Playoff Bell Ringer standings:
Tobias Harris - 3
Joel Embiid - 3
Tyrese Maxey - 2
James Harden - 2
After a pair of enthralling home victories to knot this second-round series at two, the Philadelphia 76ers ventured to FTX Arena for Tuesday’s Game 5 against the Miami Heat. Rather than continue their string of encouraging outings, they stumbled to a 120-85 rout. Miami now leads the series 3-2, with a do-or-die Game 6 looming Thursday for the Sixers. The entire starting five played below its typical standards. Paul Reed was solid. Shake Milton provided a few good moments. Not much to report here. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
Paul Reed: Seven points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block
Even before Philadelphia plotted the white flag in the fourth quarter, Reed brought good minutes during his stint. He snagged a couple offensive rebounds in the second quarter to help produce six points, applied active hands for a takeaway and used his sprightly athleticism to hold down the defensive glass. Reed didn’t return until Miami led 90-66 early in the fourth quarter. But he maximized his closing minutes with four more points, another steal, one block and an assist, including a snazzy behind-the-back feed. The dude’s got game and showcased it in an otherwise frustrating team-wide performance.
Joel Embiid: 17 points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal
Make no mistake, this was not a sterling game from Embiid. But we’re looking for anyone to supplement Reed on a night so many struggled to great depths. Late in the third, Embiid gave Philadelphia an ounce of hope with nine points in two minutes, exploiting Dewayne Dedmon on face-up touches. At various times, he bothered Miami ball-handlers in pick-and-rolls defensively, though also played too timidly and allowed clean finishes on other occasions. The Heat’s fronting of his post-ups, led by Bam Adebayo, stymied him for lengthy portions of the game. He’ll need to generate more advantageous situations offensively for the Sixers to win Thursday.
Shake Milton: Nine points, four rebounds, two steals, one assist
Milton’s 2-of-8 shooting line is deceiving, with three of those misses coming after the benches had been emptied. In the first half, he offered a spark by drilling a three, hitting a runner and attacking Miami’s zone leading to a putback from Reed. The Sixers’ reserve guards have been quiet this playoff run and Milton authored a little second-quarter punch.
Who is Tuesday’s Game 5 Bell Ringer?
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