Sixers Bell Ringer standings
Joel Embiid - 17
James Harden - 15
Tyrese Maxey - 9
Tobias Harris - 5
Shake Milton - 4
Paul Reed - 2
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1
The Sixers defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-112, at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night in the hosts’ last game before the All-Star Break.
Early in the first period, Joel Embiid scored his 10,000th career point, the fastest in Sixers’ franchise history to ever hit the milestone. But that wasn’t the only highlight of the first frame. Five Sixers shot a combined 7-for-8 from long range as they quickly built a 38-point period and a 21-point lead at one point. Even the defense looked good out of the gate, with the Sixers snagging four steals and holding the Cavaliers to just 24 points going into the second frame.
The defensive intensity continued for the Sixers in the second with the bench unit — no, really. Both Paul Reed and Jalen McDaniels led defensively to help counter a bit of a cooling-off period for the Sixers’ shooting, holding the Cavs to just a 14-point second. The hosts carried a 25-point lead into the halftime break.
The Cavaliers chipped at the lead in the third with a 13-0 run, but the Sixers were able to hold a 17-point lead headed into the final frame. It was a lot sloppier than the earlier half for the hosts and the Cavaliers certainly didn’t give up, cutting the deficit back down to single digits as time wound down. Nevertheless, the Sixers were able to outlast the Cavs’ final push, taking a win into the All-Star Break.
This was a well-rounded effort from the home team, with six Sixers scoring in the double-digits. But there can only be one Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
James Harden: 19 points, four rebounds, 12 assists, one steal, one block
Harden got to work right away in this one, dishing out dimes and sinking triples. He sank two of the Sixers’ seven first-period three-pointers to help them build their initial lead. By halftime, he had 15 points, three triples and nine assists to lead the Sixers. Harden finished with a 19-point, 12-assist double-double, while adding one steal and one block.
Joel Embiid: 29 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block
The Cavaliers didn’t have anyone that could really guard Embiid — a problem a lot of NBA teams have. Even when they double-teamed him with Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, the big man was able to escape to hit his normal fadeaways with ease. He also continued to find success in the pick-and-roll with Harden. Embiid had 12 points, nine boards and two steals by the halftime break.
Tyrese Maxey: 16 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists
Ever since breaking out of his little slump that plagued him for a few games, Maxey is back in the form Sixers fans know and love. He provided a huge boost to the Sixers’ bench unit yet again in the sixth man role, and is quickly establishing a promising connection with newcomer Jalen McDaniels. He may have only corralled two boards, but that doesn’t represent how Maxey was all over the floor in this one, helping to collect loose balls and staying aggressive on defense, in addition to his offensive contributions. Maxey finished Wednesday night shooting 6-of-12 from the floor, including two triples, for his 16 points.
Who is the Sixers Bell Ringer for Wednesday night’s contest vs. the Cavaliers?
This poll is closed
I’m doing something a little different here because there were so many Sixers that contributed in this contest. I want to shout out a few players that weren’t necessarily Bell Ringer-caliber, but deserve some recognition for their play Wednesday night.
De’Anthony Melton: Melton shot 4-for-8, sinking two from long distance, including a crucial triple that snapped the Cavs’ 13-0 run in the third. He hit a number of foul shots to preserve the Sixers’ lead as the game wound down and finished with 17 points.
Tobias Harris: Harris’ play has been pretty inconsistent recently, but Wednesday night was a good one for the forward. He scored 10 points in the first half on 4-for-6 shooting, sinking two triples. He also came up with a nice steal in the second for a scoop-and-score, slamming it home as the Sixers built their lead. He finished with 13 points and two rebounds.
Paul Reed: Reed was tapped as the backup center for the Sixers once again in this one, and he played like he wanted to keep that role. In his first six minutes on the floor, he forced a jump ball, snagged two rebounds, put up two blocks and slammed home an emphatic put-back dunk. He finished with five points, four rebounds and two blocks.
P.J. Tucker: Tucker had an efficient and productive offensive game, shooting 4-of-5, including 2-of-2 beyond the arc, for his 10 points. He also grabbed three rebounds and snagged one steal.