Joel Embiid- 11
James Harden- 8
Tobias Harris- 5
Shake Milton- 4
Tyrese Maxey- 3
Paul Reed- 2
De’Anthony Melton- 1
Georges Niang- 1
The Philadelphia 76ers kicked off 2023 at home with 120-111 revenge victory Monday night against the New Orleans Pelicans after losing to them 127-116 on the road last Friday.
The Sixers narrowly led through the end of the first period, extending their lead to double digits in the second courtesy of Joel Embiid, James Harden and Georges Niang. It also didn’t hurt that the Pelicans had 11 turnovers in the first half. Towards the end of the second period, however, thanks to some questionable officiating, both Harden and Embiid found themselves on the bench in foul trouble, allowing Zion Williamson to chip away at the Sixers’ lead down to just five headed into halftime.
That trend continued into the second half, with Williamson shooting 5-for-5 from the floor for 11 third-quarter points with five assists on top of it. Luckily, Embiid had 15 points of his own in the quarter to help the Sixers carry a narrow lead into the final frame.
The Pelicans were dealt a tough blow in the fourth with Williamson taken out of the game due to a hamstring strain. That doesn’t mean New Orleans let their foot off the gas. The visitors kept the game close through the final minutes even without their leader, but were unable to get the necessary stops to catch up to the Sixers. Last minute threes by De’Anthony Melton and James Harden helped put the nail in the coffin and secure the win for the Sixers.
There were a few good performances in this one, including the obvious of course. Let’s get to the Bell Ringer.
Joel Embiid: 42 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
Another day, another 40+ point double-double for Joel Embiid. It was all Embiid from the jump, scoring 7 of the Sixers’ first 10 points and leading them through the first frame with 13 points. The big man had 18 headed into halftime, even if slightly hampered in minutes early due to foul trouble. Embiid continued to dominate the scoring for the Sixers’ nearly single-handedly keeping Philadelphia in the game in the third with the Pelicans hot at their heels. He finished shooting 62.5 percent from the floor, 2-of-3 from long range and 10-for-10 from the line for his 42 points. He also led the Sixers in boards with 11. Embiid looked engaged defensively in this one too, at least in the first half before getting called for his third foul early. He had a block and a steal in the first half to go along with his impressive offensive performance.
James Harden: 27 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Harden was all over the court aggressive in this one. In the first half, Harden racked up 16 points via a step-back three, a few drives into the paint and earning a couple of trips to the line. He still kept up with his recent string of excellent playmaking with eight assists, but tonight was a night for Harden’s offensive aggression paying off for himself and for the Sixers overall. His points always seemed to come exactly when the Sixers’ needed them: early to build the lead, later when Embiid was sitting, and finally the dagger three with time winding down to secure the win for the home team.
you wanna play Hard(en)ball? we're game. pic.twitter.com/FJ3Y33QBKf— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) January 3, 2023
Georges Niang: 15 points (5 three-pointers), 5 rebounds, 4 assists
Niang was certainly in a “bang bang” mood Monday night. Coming off the bench, Niang had 12 points at halftime after sinking 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, helping the Sixers maintain and extend their lead throughout the first half. For some reason the Pelicans let Niang have another open shot from long range in the third, allowing the Minivan to sink his fifth three-pointer of the game.
Who is the Sixers Bell Ringer for their win over the New Orleans Pelicans?
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