Playoff Bell Ringer standings:
Tobias Harris - 3
Joel Embiid - 2
Tyrese Maxey - 1
James Harden - 1
Hoping to knot their second-round series at one, the Philadelphia 76ers returned to FTX Arena on Wednesday evening to face the Miami Heat. They opened the game working early in the clock, moving the ball and hitting shots, jumping out to a 15-11 lead. But Miami soon found its stride and kept Philadelphia at bay during the final 37 minutes. Tyrese Maxey detonated in the second half and was superb. Tobias Harris bounced back from a slow start to score effectively. James Harden was inconsistent, but OK. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
Tyrese Maxey: 34 points, three rebounds, two steals, one assist
For the second time in eight playoff games, Maxey notched at least 34 points. Two of the three highest scoring games of his career have now come over the past 2.5 weeks. After a middling first 2.5 frames, Maxey exploded midway through the third quarter. He scored 23 of his 34 points over the final 19 minutes and repeatedly burned Miami with his downhill attacks. Whenever Philadelphia found him in transition, he drew fouls or converted around the rim. His torrid scoring was the primary reason the Sixers even had a chance entering the fourth and he really delivered, despite an inconspicuous start.
Tobias Harris: 21 points, four assists, four rebounds, four steals
Despite opening the game 3-of-11, Harris connected on his final six shots for an viable 9-of-17 performance. He got the best of former teammate Jimmy Butler a few times, drilled a number of difficult pull-up jumpers and buried a couple snappy triples in the second half. The defense ebbed and flowed, but he still proved useful in isolation and nabbed four steals. Harris’ role offensively has changed quite drastically in Joel Embiid’s absence, but he’s still been good.
James Harden: 20 points, nine assists, four rebounds, one block
Harden’s Game 2 followed a similar pattern to Game 1. He was slow out of the gates, authored an excellent second quarter and grew quiet again after halftime. The Heat put Victor Oladipo on him for stretches of the second half, which really bothered him. Yet Harden still encountered some success as a driver, generated many good shots with his playmaking and went to the line for seven free throws. This showing wasn’t incredible, but he played adequately and the rest of the Sixers’ rotation players didn’t provide much support in their roles.
Who is Wednesday’s Game 2 Bell Ringer?
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