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Sixers Bell Ringer: Sixers prevail after first half woes, defeat Pistons for In-Season Tourney win

In their first In-Season Tournament game, the Philadelphia 76ers overcame an abysmal start in the first half and turned it into a 114-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

In-Season Tournament - Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Bell Ringer Season Totals:

Tyrese Maxey - 3

Joel Embiid - 2

Tobias Harris - 1

Kelly Oubre Jr. - 1

The Philadelphia 76ers yo-yo’d from 16 down in the first to up double-digits in the fourth, ultimately defeating the Detroit Pistons 114-106 on Friday night.

In their first game in the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament, the Sixers got off to a rough start offensively, letting Detroit gain the early advantage. Philadelphia put up just 21 points in the first period and trailed by double digits into the second. Abysmal shooting and even more dreadful passive defense from the Sixers saw the Pistons head into the locker room with an eight-point lead at halftime.

Honestly, it could have (and probably should have) been a lot worse.

The Sixers finally showed up in the second half. A Joel Embiid triple tied the game up at 60-60 a few minutes into the third frame to put the Sixers back on even ground with the Pistons for the first time since the game tipped off. For the majority of the period, the game bounced from tie to slight Pistons’ lead, and back again. The Sixers took their first lead of the night with three left to play in the third, ending the period up five on the hosts on the back of a 16-point third from Embiid.

They only built on from there, especially thanks to some stellar two-way Tyrese Maxey play in the fourth. The Sixers piled on a double-digit lead and never looked back, taking down the Pistons 114-106.

(At least I think that’s what happened, the court was blindingly bright.)

The Sixers will head back to Philadelphia for a three-game homestand beginning on Sunday night hosting the Indiana Pacers. They will try to build on what is now a seven-game win streak.

For now, we go to the Bell Ringer!

Tyrese Maxey: 29 points, 6 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals, 0 turnovers

In-Season Tournament - Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Maxey’s shooting wasn’t great to start this one, no Sixers was, but at least he was sinking some, including two triples with one on a nasty step-back. It was probably his worst half of the season so far in terms of shot selection and playmaking, but his team-leading 14 points at the break were crucial for keeping the Sixers in reach of the Pistons.

He looked a lot more himself in the second half, going away from the floater that was failing all first half and opting for more driving lay-ups, with so much more success. This was a huge in-game adjustment that paid dividends for the young star. Almost everything after the halftime break from Maxey was driving downhill at the net, full speed. He tacked on four points in the third and then decided to just take control of the game in the fourth on both ends of the court. When he wasn’t scoring himself, he was throwing dimes for his teammates. After an 11-point, four-assist and two-steal final frame, Maxey finished this one with 29 points, six rebounds, 10 assists and four steals.

And he did it all with zero turnovers. AGAIN.

Joel Embiid: 33 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks

In-Season Tournament - Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

It was a rough game for Embiid — and I mean physically rough. The Pistons were not afraid to be physical in trying to stop the big man, and though it certainly disrupted him in the first half from the floor, he began to use it to his advantage and kept earning trips to the line. Seven of his 13 first-half points came from the charity stripe.

He started to thrive more on both ends of the floor in the third quarter. He had an impressive block on Cade Cunningham and even more impressively saved the rebound from going out of bounds. A few possessions later, he sank a triple to tie the game for the Sixers at 60 apiece — their first time on even ground with the Pistons since the tip. His 16-point third carried the Sixers, who scored 35 as a team in the frame, to their first lead of the game.

Embiid finished the night with yet another double-double: 33 points (17 from the floor, 16 from the line) and 16 rebounds. He also had three assists and two blocks.

Tobias Harris: 24 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block

In-Season Tournament - Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Much like Maxey and Embiid, Harris also got off to a mighty slow start. In the second half, he was the perfect scoring complement to the Sixers’ star duo. What stood out was Harris’ craftiness against the bigs and physicality against Detroit’s smaller defenders. It feels like he’s hit big fourth quarter triples in every game as well.

It feels like Harris’ defense almost gets overlooked. He’s improved so greatly on that end since his arrival here. It’s to a point where the team’s best defensive lineups almost have to include the veteran forward.

Robert Covington: 3 points, 4 steals

In-Season Tournament - Philadelphia 76ers v Detroit Pistons Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Covington is earning the nod here for being arguably the most impactful player off the bench for the Sixers.

RoCo came up huge defensively in his second quarter minutes, disrupting a Detroit offense that had been rolling without much resistance up to that point, helping the Sixers stay in arm’s reach of the Pistons. He had three steals and also sank a triple (the Sixers’ only bench points until late in the third period) in that first half stint. In the third, he tacked on another steal and had a deflection leading to a De’Anthony Melton steal.

The contributions might not seem huge, but in a game where the Sixers were battling for every inch to get back into this game, Covington came up big off the bench.


Who is the Sixers Bell Ringer for their comeback win over the Detroit Pistons?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (634 votes)
  • 18%
    Joel Embiid
    (179 votes)
  • 8%
    Tobias Harris
    (86 votes)
  • 6%
    Robert Covington
    (67 votes)
966 votes total Vote Now

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