Bell Ringer Season Totals:
Joel Embiid - 14
Tyrese Maxey - 5
Tobias Harris - 3
Patrick Beverley - 1
Kelly Oubre Jr. - 1
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Jaden Springer - 1
Paul Reed - 1
The Philadelphia 76ers, having trailed by 21 at one point, nearly mounted a comeback against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day, falling just short 119-113.
It was a slow start for both teams offensively producing a 26-22 Heat advantage after the first 12 minutes of play. The Sixers went eight minutes without a field goal across the end of the first and beginning of the second frame, facilitating a 22-1 Heat run that extended Miami’s lead into double-digits.
The biggest issue for the Sixers in the first half was Tyrese Maxey failing to score a single point. The Heat were constantly trapping the young guard and limiting his ability to use his speed or find space, and Maxey shot 0-for-9 as a result in the first half. Without his (or Embiid’s) production to fall back on, the Sixers were going multiple-minute chunks at a time without scoring a single point. The Heat led 63-49 at the break.
A 15-2 run in the third for the Sixers made things competitive again. Shots started falling for the likes of Mo Bamba, Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre Jr. and suddenly the game was tied. For the rest of the third, the Sixers and Heat traded narrow leads and equalizers, ultimately ending the quarter with a 86-86 scoreline.
It remained a close affair throughout most of the fourth, but the Heat were able to pull away as time wound down, defeating the Sixers 119-113 on Christmas Day.
Maxey’s uncharacteristically bad night concluded with just 12 points on 4-for-20 field goal shooting and 3-for-6 from the line. Just a horrendously rough night for the young guard. Hopefully it’s just one of those nights Maxey is able to throw in the garbage and forget about.
He’ll have a chance to bounce back on Wednesday night when the Sixers take on the Orlando Magic on the road.
Until then, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.
Tobias Harris: 27 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal
Harris got off to a hot start against Heat rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., scoring nine points on 3-for-4 shooting in six minutes on the floor in the first period. He led the Sixers (along with Bamba) with 14 points at the break. In the third, Harris had a great sequence where he pulled in a defensive rebound before assisting a De’Anthony Melton triple and, on the next possession, bullied down Tyler Herro to hit a hook shot to tie the game for the Sixers. He did the same to Jamal Cain for a three-point play in the fourth.
It didn’t seem to matter who was guarding him, he was creating space, finding good looks and sinking his shots Wednesday night. Harris finished Monday night with a team-leading 27 points (4-for-6 from long range) with seven rebounds, six assists and a steal.
Kelly Oubre Jr.: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
Oubre came out firing on all cylinders on both ends of the floor for the Sixers tonight. In his first seven minutes on the floor, Oubre scored seven points on 3-for-4 shooting with a steal and a block. After a 10-point first half, Oubre hit two triples in the third, including one to cut the Heat’s lead down to single digits in the middle of the frame. He stayed hot from long range, sinking his fifth and sixth triples of the game in the fourth. Oubre finished Monday’s game with 25 points (6-for-9 from long range) with seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block.
Mo Bamba: 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Paul Reed started in place of Joel Embiid who was ruled out with an ankle sprain that he suffered during the Sixers’ contest last Friday, but, with over nine minutes left in the second, Reed was already on his fourth foul in just eight minutes on the floor. Mo Bamba was subbed in and quickly scored 11 consecutive points for the Sixers in the second period. He totaled 14 points (two triples) in the second frame. He tacked on a third triple in the third period as the Sixers were trying to mount a comeback. Bamba finished the game with 18 points on 7-for-8 field goal shooting with six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
top of the key for three. pic.twitter.com/CseOKDnyB9— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) December 26, 2023
Who was the Sixers’ Bell Ringer in their loss to the Miami Heat?
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Kelly Oubre Jr.