Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Tyrese Maxey - 5
Joel Embiid - 2
Tobias Harris - 1
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 1
The Philadelphia 76ers couldn’t quite complete the comeback on Tuesday night, falling to the Indiana Pacers 132-126 in NBA In-Season Tournament group play.
Robert Covington started for the Sixers in place of Nico Batum, who was out for personal reasons. Joel Embiid was questionable pregame but played without a hitch.
The Pacers led by nine at halftime on the back of an explosive first half from Tyrese Haliburton including six triples from the Indiana point guard. Embiid led the Sixers at the break with 18 points.
A 17-7 Sixers run led by Embiid and De’Anthony Melton in the third leveled the game for the first time since the tip-off. The Sixers snagged the advantage in the middle of the fourth, their first lead since taking a narrow one in the first period briefly. This one was down to the wire with teams each taking slim leads back and forth. In the end, the Pacers pulled away and went on to defeat the Sixers 132-126.
The Sixers are now 8-2 on the season and 1-1 in group play in the NBA In-Season Tournament. They are back to work tomorrow night hosting the Boston Celtics (on a regular court, thankfully).
Until then, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.
Joel Embiid: 39 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 three steals
This was yet another example of a team throwing every defense they could at Embiid and not making a dent in his production. In fact, in this one, they kind of fueled it by sending him to the line time and time again.
In the first period, Embiid drew two quick fouls from each Myles Turner and his backup center, Jalen Smith, then went to work against the Pacers’ third option in Isaiah Jackson — Embiid drew two first-period fouls from him too. The big man led the floor after one with 14 points. At the half, he led the Sixers with 18 points with 12 made free throws. Embiid’s production continued, with his 13-point third helping pull the Sixers back in contention in the game.
The big man finished Tuesday night with 39 points (22 from the floor, 17 from the line), 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Tobias Harris: 22 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
After a slow start, Harris scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. He decided to pick right back up where he left off, scoring the Sixers’ first six points in this one finishing the first frame with eight points on 4-for-5 field goal shooting. He finished the half with 12 points.
Harris continues to have tremendous success to start this season in weaving his way to and through the lane and driving to the rim for a lay-in or close range shot. Eighteen of his points Tuesday night came from close range in the paint.
He was pulled from the game early in the fourth after Indiana’s Bruce Brown came down awkwardly on onto Harris’ head, but returned a moment later and immediately forced a Pacers turnover with his defense, then sank a bucket on the next possession.
Harris finished Tuesday night with 22 points on 11-for-17 field goal shooting. He also had seven rebounds, two assists and a steal.
De’Anthony Melton: 30 points (4 triples), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t the prettiest game for Melton, especially early. He had a number of first-half turnovers and a few early fouls, but he was productive in a way we haven’t quite seen yet in this young season and it came at a time the Sixers desperately needed it.
The two early threes were nice, but his third period minutes were much nicer. In the frame, Melton sank another three and a few buckets from the floor, but also got to the line four times for eight points from the line. He ended up contributing 15 points in the third as the Sixers mounted their comeback on the Pacers.
He sank another triple in the fourth for good measure.
Melton finished with 30 points (20 from the floor, 10 from the line), four triples, four rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Tyrese Maxey: 27 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block
Well, it wasn’t quite a 50-bomb, but it’s worth some recognition.
He only took nine field goal attempts in the first half, and only four of those fell. Frankly, it just wasn’t looking like the best Maxey performance we’ve seen, but he showed up when it counted.
As the Sixers were finally gaining on the Pacers late in the game, Maxey turned it on. He scored seven consecutive Sixers’ points in the fourth as Philadelphia took their first lead of the game since the first period. He ended up with 15 points in the frame.
He finished the game with 27 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and a block.
Who is the Sixers Bell Ringer for Tuesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers?
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