Sixers Bell Ringer standings
James Harden - 13
Joel Embiid - 13
Tobias Harris - 5
Tyrese Maxey - 4
Shake Milton - 4
Paul Reed - 2
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
Making their lone pitstop of the season in Portland, the Philadelphia 76ers ventured into Moda Center looking for a fourth straight win on this five-game road trip. After jumping out to a 57-34 halftime lead, the Sixers held off the Blazers’ late charge with timely stops and fast-break buckets for a 105-95 victory. Joel Embiid scored 32 points, to go along with nine boards, three blocks, two assists and one steal. James Harden dropped his third triple-double of the past 11 days, notching 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
Joel Embiid: 32 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, two assists, one steal
The big fella recorded 10 of the Sixers’ first 15 points and connected all game with Harden out of the pick-and-roll. Whether it was drifting to his patented midrange or aggressively rolling all the way to the rim, he gave the Blazers’ big man tandem of Jusuf Nurkic and Drew Eubanks major problems. Defensively, he toggled across drop coverage, trapping and hedging against ball-screens to help slow Damian Lillard’s potent creation. Portland struggled to generate much effective offense downhill when he was in the game, as Embiid built upon Tuesday’s strong defensive showing. Five fouls limited him a bit, but he still generally operated as he wished on both ends and helped propel the Sixers to a 10-point win. This circus bucket to essentially seal things wasn’t too shabby either.
James Harden: 16 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds
The man priming so much of Embiid’s pick-and-roll success was Harden, who continues to play brilliant basketball. His timing and accuracy as a playmaker were sharp almost the entire game, aside from a few mistakes late against traps. But he routinely occupied multiple defenders and dished Embiid the ball in ideal positions at the proper moment. When the Blazers made a push in the fourth, Harden delivered a pair of gorgeous outlet passes to spark four points and keep Portland at bay. The dude is playing some really stellar ball right now and he did exactly that on Thursday.
Tyrese Maxey: 15 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal
Maxey once again played a sixth man role and immediately invigorated the offense in his opening stint. He displayed rapport with Embiid in ball screens and canned his first three shots to tally a quick six points in his initial 4.5 minutes of play. He mixed in pull-up midrange jumpers, a silky floater and drilled a long ball. Plus, as he’s privy to, he converted a beautiful cross-court feed from Harden. Maxey buoyed an up-and-down bench unit that thrived in the first half, yet struggled after intermission. The third-year wing seems to be finding a groove over the past two games as Philadelphia’s lead creator off the pine.
Georges Niang: Nine points, two rebounds, one assist
The Minivan knocked home three of his six triples and tossed a nifty lob off a dribble handoff to Montrezl Harrell for a jam. His versatile long-range shooting is a massive boon for the bench.
Also, shout out to Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton. Thybulle’s defense, headlined by two steals and two blocks, frustrated Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons for stretches (same goes for De’Anthony Melton’s efforts). Milton, meanwhile, knocked a couple key, impressive buckets late in the third when Portland was mounting a run. He ended with 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and is enjoying a really solid fifth season.
Who is the Sixers’ Bell Ringer in Thursday’s win over the Blazers?
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