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Sixers Bell Ringer: Sixers defense holds off Celtics comeback

The Sixers sit atop spot the Eastern Conference in this young season, defeating the Boston Celtics 106-103 in South Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Bell Ringer Season Totals:

Joel Embiid - 2

Tyrese Maxey - 2

Tobias Harris - 1

Kelly Oubre Jr. - 1

It was a battle of two 5-1 teams Wednesday night as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Boston Celtics 106-103 for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Sixers led by seven at halftime and the Celtics battled back in the third with a flurry of triples. On the back of Joel Embiid, the Sixers extended their lead to double digits to enter the fourth, but the Celtics weren’t lying down. A 10-0 run for Boston pulled them back within four with just a minute to play, then within three with the ball with just eight seconds left. The Sixers held on to survive the Celtics’ late surge, however, to take the top spot in the Eastern Conference with their sixth win in a row.

The Sixers now hit the road and will take on the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

Until then, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.

Tyrese Maxey: 25 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Whether it’s sinking a deep three over Kristaps Porzingis or putting up a huge block on Jrue Holiday in transition, the 6-foot-2 Maxey has you covered. He is taking advantage of his speed in transition offensively and defensively, getting open looks with the help of screens from Embiid, and sinking his shots. Everything he says he worked on in the offseason has been on display in these first seven games.

After a slow two points in the first, Maxey came alive in the second, scoring 12 (with two triples) to lead the Sixers with 14 at the break. Even he couldn’t escape the cold shooting that plagued the Sixers in the third, but he came back to form in the fourth, weaving through the Celtics’ defense and finishing with ease with short range floaters and long range triples alike.

Maxey ended this one with 25 points after an 11-point fourth quarter to help the Sixers hold their lead to the end. He also had nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks.

Joel Embiid: 27 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

It doesn’t matter if it’s Jrue Holiday, Kristaps Porzingis, Al Horford, or all three guarding Embiid. He will bully his way through it for a lay-up, jumper, whatever, it just doesn’t matter. He steps up when the Sixers desperately need it — and they desperately needed it in the third when they all went ice cold. Until there was just about a minute left in the third, Embiid had been the only one who scored for the Sixers in the period, keeping them ahead as the Celtics sank basically everything from long range. He capped off his 13-point frame with a buzzer-beating block on Payton Pritchard. He had just one bucket in the fourth, but it was a big one to put the Sixers up 106-100 as they struggled to hold off the Celtics’ comeback.

The big man finished with a double-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. His defense was just as impressive, grabbing one steal and putting up four blocks.

Tobias Harris: 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Harris continues to be shifted into a different gear to kick off this season. His offensive aggression and improved finishing continues to pay dividends for the Sixers. He’s either getting his buckets from the floor or earning trips to the foul line.

His shooting was a bit erratic tonight, shooting just 41.7 percent from the floor, but he still managed 17 points (one triple, during a crucial fourth period) and was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. He also had nine rebounds and three assists.


Who is the Bell Ringer for the Sixers win over the Celtics?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (446 votes)
  • 40%
    Joel Embiid
    (340 votes)
  • 5%
    Tobias Harris
    (50 votes)
836 votes total Vote Now


Kelly Oubre Jr.

Oubre started this one off with a slam off the tip-off as he continues to thrive in this starting lineup. Oubre shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the first half for 11 points with five rebounds in 14 minutes. He finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Paul Reed

Bball Paul had a productive first stint on the floor, scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds in just under five minutes. His second stint on the floor came in the fourth when he tacked on another two points. He ended up with eight points, four rebounds and a steal in 10 minutes.

Nico Batum

It won’t always show on the stat sheet, like in this one, but Batum might be the smartest defensive mind the Sixers have right now. He is always in the right place at the right time, and that’s not a coincidence. Despite scoring just five points, Batum put up some seriously good minutes for the Sixers against the Celtics.

Plus... he almost definitely got a finger popped back into place at halftime and returned to play in the second half. Baller.

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