Sixers Bell Ringer standings
Joel Embiid - 14
James Harden - 13
Tyrese Maxey - 6
Tobias Harris - 5
Shake Milton - 4
Paul Reed - 2
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
The Sixers overcame a 15-point deficit to defeat Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets 126-119 at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon, extending their win streak to seven straight games.
One could say Joel Embiid might have had some extra personal motivation going into this one after it was announced that he would not be a starter for the All-Star Game. Add that to going up against Jokic, who beat Embiid out for league MVP the past two seasons, and you have the perfect recipe for an Embiid standout performance.
And that’s exactly what we got.
The big man started strong with a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double in the first half. Defense, however, was certainly not the Sixers’ strong point in the first half. The Nuggets repeatedly were treated to a number of wide open threes and easy lay-ups off the Sixers’ six first half turnovers. Denver shot 10 of 17 from beyond the arc and collected nine fast break points in the first half, shooting 65.9 percent from the floor with ease and leading the Nuggets to a 15-point lead going into halftime.
P.J. Tucker and Tobias Harris combining for zero points in the first half certainly didn’t help.
The Sixers cut the deficit in the third to just three thanks to some hot hands, shooting 81 percent from the floor compared to the Nuggets’ 39 percent shooting. The Sixers finally took their first lead since the very beginning of the game with about five minutes left to play, but the Nuggets weren’t going to let them run away with it. They held close until the end, but a dagger three-pointer from Embiid with 30 seconds to go practically sealed it for the Sixers.
Philadelphia is now on a seven-game win streak.
Embiid finished with a monstrous 47 points and 18 rebounds on Saturday, including a dagger three with 30 seconds to play that all but secured the win for the Sixers. Harden followed with 17 points and 13 assists.
Now, let’s get to the Bell Ringer. Though, let’s be honest, I think we all know who it is for this one.
Joel Embiid: 47 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
This man is just a monster. Embiid started off strong with a 14-point first quarter, shooting 6 of 10 in the frame and sinking two from long range. He looked like he was forcing it at times, with a few bad passes and balls swatted away, but for the most part it was a solid early performance. The big man ended up with an 19-point, 11-rebound double-double in the first half, but began to struggle as the half came to a close, ultimately shooting 8 of 17 by the break. Embiid shot much better in the second half to continue his domination for the Sixers, shooting 71 percent and sinking two from long range in the half. Of his impressive 18 boards, six came on the offensive end, contributing to the Sixers’ 14 second-chance points.
James Harden: 17 points, 13 assists, 0 turnovers
Harden started off this one looking focused in his playmaking role, numerous times drawing a double team and then passing out of it. He tallied six assists on zero turnovers in the first half and scored 14 points of his own courtesy of shooting 3 of 3 from beyond the arc going into the break. Harden shifted focus completely into making space and making plays for his team in the second half, registering another seven assists in the second half for a total of 13 dimes with zero turnovers in this one.
Georges Niang: 14 points (4 three-pointers)
Niang might not have drawn much attention in the first half if you exclude his court side spat with Shake Milton, but he came up big in the second half from long range to help the Sixers overcome the 15-point deficit they once faced. Niang sank three of his four threes in the second half, two of which came during that crucial turning-point third quarter. For a moment, it looked like he couldn’t miss, especially his fourth quarter triple with just a second on the shot clock.
Who is the Bell Ringer for the Sixers’ victory over the Nuggets?
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