Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Tyrese Maxey - 2
Joel Embiid - 1
It was the Sixers’ first game since the trade that sent James Harden and P.J. Tucker to the Los Angeles Clippers for a number of players and draft picks. Kelly Oubre Jr. was slotted into the starting lineup for the first time to replace Tucker (Harden had not played for the Sixers yet this season).
Philadelphia led the visiting Raptors 58-49 at halftime, with Joel Embiid leading the way at the break with 15 points, and Tobias Harris with 14 (on some stellar shooting). The second half was just an excellent team effort, with everyone contributing a little to help the Sixers build a double-digit lead on Toronto and hold it until the end. The Sixers defeated the Raptors 114-99 in front of the Wells Fargo Center crowd.
The Sixers will next host the Phoenix Suns on Saturday afternoon.
For now, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.
Tobias Harris: 23 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
It might not be in the headlines around this team right now, but Harris is off to a fantastic start this campaign. Harris continued that Thursday night with more efficient, aggressive offense. He’s finding lanes to the net, driving without hesitation into defenders and sinking his shots — damn near all of them. He led the Sixers in the first quarter with nine points on 4-for-4 field goal shooting, missing only a free throw in the frame. Harris finished the first half with 14 points on 85.7 percent shooting (2-for-3 from beyond the arc).
His shooting declined a little in the second half but, hey, that first half was a tough act to follow. He continued to produce nonetheless, and finished with 23 points on 58.8 percent field goal shooting. He also had seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Joel Embiid: 28 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block
Embiid was an absolute menace defensively Thursday. It didn’t show as much on the stat sheet like his six-block affair this past Sunday night, but he was actively disrupting the Raptors offense at every turn throughout this one. He finished with eight defensive boards and a block.
Embiid was quiet offensively in the first half by his standards (still with a team-leading 15 points on just three field goals) but utilized his ability to draw fouls and sink his shots at the charity stripe (9-for-9 in the first half). More impressive has been the continuation of a pattern developing to begin this season and that’s been the big man making plays for his teammates. He is actively commanding the offense, not forcing his own shots and working (especially in tandem with Maxey) to keep the ball moving for this Sixers offense.
Embiid finished this one with a double-double with 28 points (12 from the foul line), 13 rebounds, seven assists and a block.
Awesome block by Joel Embiid pic.twitter.com/5VTCK7o0Gt— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) November 3, 2023
Kelly Oubre Jr.: 23 points (5-for-6 threes), 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Oubre got his first start in a Sixers uniform Thursday night, and he wasted no time. He sank a three to get the Sixers on the board and followed it up with a rebound and slam a few possessions later. He picked up two quick fouls that slowed his production down a bit for the first half, but in the third period he ramped back up and never slowed down from there, shooting 4-for-6 with two triples in the frame. He tacked on six more points (including a dagger three with just a few minutes to play) in the fourth to finish the game with 23 points on 8-for-13 shooting.
Who was the Sixers Bell Ringer for their win over the Toronto Raptors?
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Kelly Oubre Jr.
This was a great team effort. Though these guys probably aren’t the Bell Ringer, they deserve a shoutout.
Maxey had kind of a slow start to this one but frankly everyone other than Harris did. He started to wake up in the second quarter with a couple full court transition buckets, showing off his speed. But contrary to past years where his speed sometimes was a bit out of control, he’s showing off his speed in a much more contained way this season. He isn’t just blasting at the net full speed with no sense of direction. He’s changing speeds, controlling his body, and using it all to his advantage. All that, and he’s progressing in commanding the offense as a playmaker at the same time. He finished Thursday night with 18 points, one rebound, four assists and two steals.
I can’t believe I’m writing this in the year 2023, but Korkmaz is still a Sixer and tonight the team should be grateful for that. Korkmaz made the most of his time on the floor Thursday, on both ends of the court. He sank 4 of 7 (one triple) for 10 points and snagged three steals off the bench. He might not get a ton of opportunities these days, but this was certainly a fun one.