Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Joel Embiid - 12
Tyrese Maxey - 5
Tobias Harris - 2
Patrick Beverley - 1
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 1
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Jaden Springer - 1
Paul Reed - 1
The Philadelphia 76ers made it a game, but ultimately fell just short of the Chicago Bulls 108-104 in South Philadelphia on Monday night.
The Sixers had leapt out to a quick double-digit lead but it was just as quickly dismantled by the Bulls and specifically Coby White. Chicago led by one after the first, and the Sixers immediately started looking like a team that hasn’t trailed much in the past week or so. Their energy and ability to sink shots suddenly died, and the Bulls built on their lead for a 55-44 advantage at halftime. Embiid led the Sixers at the break with 23 points — the next most-productive Sixer was Tyrese Maxey with just nine points.
That was pretty much the story throughout this one. Embiid was dominant, but he didn’t have a ton of help offensively otherwise. The Sixers briefly pulled even with the Bulls, but Chicago was able to widen the gap again with just Embiid producing for Philadelphia through three periods.
In the fourth, finally an Embiid-less lineup produced for the Sixers. A Maxey-led bench unit cut the deficit down briefly but the Bulls kept swinging. Maxey had a clutch steal and triple that put the game within reach for the Sixers, but they fell just short for a 108-104 loss.
The Sixers tour of sub-.500 teams has officially concluded and Philadelphia will now face the 20-5 Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
Until then, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.
Joel Embiid: 40 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks
Another day, another double-digit first for Joel Embiid. Tonight, he went for 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block all in the first quarter. He was really the only reason the Sixers were in this game at all at halftime. He had made eight field goals in the first half for 23 points, while the rest of team combined had just nine field goals for the Sixers’ other 21 first-half points.
He farmed the midrange jumper from around the foul line, taking advantage of the Bulls’ fear of his drives into the paint. There was a number of times that the big man was able to shed his defender for an open look from that area. He also sank two triples and collected some points through enthusiastic slams. He was 15-for-28 from the floor overall tonight.
He notched his 12th consecutive 30+ point game with nine minutes left in the third. He marked yet another 30-point, 10-rebound double-double with about eight minutes left in the third. He finished this one with 40 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
(Yeah, he lost the ball on the way up to shoot on the last meaningful play. Frustrating, but doesn’t negate what he did the rest of the game. It wouldn’t have even been close without him.)
CLEAR THE WAY, BIG FELLA COMING THROUGH. pic.twitter.com/NTg74HlSMC— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 19, 2023
Tyrese Maxey: 29 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 steal
Maxey struggled to sink his shots along with his teammates for most of this one, so it certainly won’t go down as his most efficient night, but he was still the only other Sixer with double-digit points. Despite shooting just 39.1 percent from the floor, Maxey put up 29 points for the Sixers in what ended up being a relatively close contest despite how Philadelphia performed.
A quick scoring burst in the fourth period from Maxey with Embiid on the bench helped the Sixers pull even with and even briefly take the lead over the Bulls. He came up with a clutch steal with a minute to play that led to the Sixers trailing by four before hitting a triple on the next possession to put Philadelphia down by just one. It ended up a close loss, but he gave the Sixers a chance late.
He sank five triples and had five rebounds with eight assists.
Who is the Bell Ringer in the Sixers’ loss to the Bulls?
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