Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Tyrese Maxey - 5
Joel Embiid - 3
Tobias Harris - 2
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 1
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Jaden Springer - 1
Well, that got interesting.
The first period was a rough one for both teams — though admittedly it was slightly more ugly for the Sixers if you consider how shorthanded the Cavs were coming into this one. The Sixers shot just 7-for-19 field goals in the first period allowing Cleveland to snag an early narrow lead over Philadelphia. That flat, sleepy start carried throughout the first half, and it could have been a lot worse at the break. Forty-four of the Cavs’ 65 first-half points were scored from within the paint. That abysmal rim protection along with some poor shooting from Philadelphia enabled Cleveland to take a 12-point lead at halftime. Tyrese Maxey’s 12-point second period nearly single-handedly kept the Sixers in this one, really.
A quick start to the third could have really helped the Sixers... but that isn’t what happened. Even as the Cavs missed a few shots, Philadelphia couldn’t take advantage of their opportunities in the third. They would inch closer, and Cleveland would inch further away.
Trailing by nine going into the fourth, the Sixers managed to chip away at the Cavs’ hold on the game. A nearly four-minute field goal drought for Cleveland late in the fourth and suddenly the Sixers tied the game with a Tobias Harris triple. And, just as anyone would expect, with time winding down, the ball ends up in the hands of Patrick Beverley. With 16 seconds to go, Pat Bev hit the go-ahead bucket. Cavs tied it and we headed to overtime.
In overtime, the Sixers trailed by one with 18 seconds to play. The play was really solid, but Maxey left the lay-up short in the end. Honestly, that was the story of this game. The Sixers getting great looks but just not sinking the shots. The Cavs held on to win 122-119 in overtime.
With that, the Sixers have wrapped up group play in the In-Season Tournament. It’s a quick turnaround for Philadelphia as well, with the Sixers headed to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves tomorrow night.
Until then, let’s head to the Bell Ringer.
Joel Embiid: 32 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 5 blocks
Embiid was in this one from the tip — thankfully, since I can’t really say the same for the rest of the Sixers minus Batum. The big man led the field in points after an all-around ugly first period with 10 points along with six rebounds and two assists. He came back in briefly in the second to tack on two more points but was pulled quickly due to getting into early foul trouble.
His defensive efforts in the third period (along with teammate Robert Covington’s) helped keep the Sixers within manageable distance of the Cavs, with a steal and two blocks in the frame to show for it. It was a weird mixed bag. He struggled with getting himself in foul trouble and wasn’t great on defense early, but he still managed some good stretches of defense and put up five blocks and two steals.
Special shout out to Embiid for throwing himself on the ground for a loose ball late in the fourth, grabbing it and passing it out to Maxey to set him up for a transition bucket and-one situation to take the lead for the Sixers.
Embiid led the Sixers in this one with 32 points. He fouled out with a few seconds left in overtime.
Tyrese Maxey: 30 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal
Maxey came out sleepy in the first like frankly most of the Sixers did, but he picked it up in the second to nearly single-handedly keep Philadelphia in the game with 12 of the Sixers’ 25 points in the frame. He seemed to find more success when he stopped trying to force contested mid-range floaters (credit to the Cavs’ defense) and started relying more on driving to the rim or taking opportunities from beyond the arc.
The biggest thing is that Maxey is heeding the words of head coach Nick Nurse to stay aggressive and keep firing off shots. He kept driving. He kept drawing fouls. Shots weren’t consistently falling for any Sixer tonight overall, but Maxey stayed aggressive and racked up 30 points because of it, even on 11-for-28 field goal shooting.
In addition to his 30 points, Maxey finished this one with four rebounds, six assists and a steal.
Tobias Harris: 23 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
This was another one of those quietly decent games for Harris. His shot selection and decision making left a bit to be desired but Harris continues to produce for the Sixers offense throughout. He continues to drive aggressively and is earning trips to the line (and sinking his shots there). His buckets might not always be as flashy as Embiid’s or Maxey’s or come in huge bunches like theirs might, but he is still consistently contributing to this Sixers’ offense.
(Just as I typed that he’s not always as flashy, Harris hits the game-tying triple late in the fourth. That’ll show me.)
(Oh, and another in overtime to give the Sixers the lead with less than a minute to go. Of course.)
Harris finished this one with 23 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
De’Anthony Melton: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Melton had a nice (and desperately needed from the Sixers) burst of energy in the second after a scoreless first. With seven points in the frame, DMelt hit a no-hesitation triple then followed it up shortly after with this perfectly-timed put-back slam. Okay, I admit, this play is what earned him a nomination because everyone needs to see it.
Extra shoutout for the clutch steal Melton snagged in overtime as well that led to him slamming it home on the resulting possession giving the Sixers a lead.
Melton finished this one with 13 points, 6 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Yeah, you heard me. It’s Pat Bev time. Game on the line. Beverley was brought in with Batum struggling with foul trouble in the fourth, and he did a tremendous job. He put up arguably the best defense on Darius Garland the Sixers had managed all night, pulled in an offensive rebound and a steal. Oh, and he sank the go-ahead bucket with 16 seconds left in the game. The Cavs sent it to overtime, but he deserves his flowers for the quarter regardless.
Who is the Bell Ringer for the Sixers overtime loss to the Cavaliers?
This poll is closed
RoCo had a good burst of minutes in the third, forcing two steals which resulted in fast-break layups for the Sixers at the end of the third to cut the Cavs’ lead back down to single digits.
The dynamic duo of Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid will always gain more attention, understandably, but the duo of Embiid and Batum is starting to blossom as this young season continues as well. It was on display early in this one as the pair traded assists in the first, Embiid finding Batum on a cut and then Batum finding Embiid on a give-and-go in transition. He does well on his own, too, finding space in the corner and baiting Max Strus with a pump fake before sinking a wide open three. It might not sound like much, but it’s just a small example of what Batum has been doing since he put on a Sixers uniform, filling exactly the role the team needs him to.