Sixers Bell Ringer standings
Joel Embiid - 20
James Harden - 17
Tyrese Maxey - 11
Tobias Harris - 5
Shake Milton - 4
Paul Reed - 3
De’Anthony Melton - 1
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1
Jalen McDaniels - 1
Returning home for their first game after a five-game road trip, the Sixers certainly looked to have some dead legs in the early going Friday night against Portland. It didn’t help that the Blazers started out red hot from behind the arc, particular Anfernee Simons, who finished with eight made threes on 12 attempts for a 34-point night. Portland would build a 21-point lead late in the first half. Philadelphia would chip away bit by bit from there, seizing an opportunity in the fourth quarter when Portland went four and a half minutes without making a field goal, allowing the Sixers to tie the game at 114. Down one in the final seconds, Joel Embiid spun away from a double team and drained a fadeaway jumper from the foul line area to put the Sixers up, 120-119, with one second left. It was the only second the Sixers led on the night, but all they needed. We may know our Bell Ringer...
Joel Embiid: 39 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks, 4 turnovers
What more can be said about Joel Embiid? With many of his teammates struggling, he was the main source of offense for the Sixers throughout the game, feasting on elbow jumpers and loping drives to the hoop. Backup center Drew Eubanks had no answer for the raw strength of the Sixers big man, leading to punishing finishes at the basket and many trips to the foul line, where Joel shot 13-of-18. His game-winner was an absolutely ridiculous shot that he makes look routine. Maybe another dozen or so like it to close out the season and the MVP voters will finally come around.
JOEL EMBIID.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 11, 2023
HE'S OURS, PHILLY. WE'RE SO LUCKY. pic.twitter.com/mqZFpNBlTH
James Harden: 19 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 turnovers
Harden shook off a rough start scoring the ball in the first half (it’s hard getting back into the swing of things at work after a long trip, I get it), rebounding nicely after halftime. Both of his makes from behind the arc came in the second half, none bigger than his stepback with three minutes and change remaining to make it a two-point game. The Beard also chipped in three assists in the fourth quarter to help the Sixers claw their way back. We would generously call this a B-minus night from Harden and he still flirts with a 20-point triple-double. That’s why he’s on the MVP ladder (but not an All-Star, right, because that makes sense).
Georges Niang: 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0 turnovers
Niang was on point as a floor spacer tonight, finishing 4-of-7 from behind the arc. He was hugely helpful as an outlet valve when Portland experimented with a 2-3 zone defense. The Minivan took Harris’ spot in the crunch time lineup with Tobias having a miserable night, and Georges finished a game-best plus-23 on the evening.
Georges Niang drains the open TRIPLE pic.twitter.com/E9IhVJw8j5— Wizards Nation (@WizardsNationCP) March 11, 2023
De’Anthony Melton: 13 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover
Another guy having a hot shooting night was Melton, who made three of his four attempts from behind the arc, including a big one from the corner with around four minutes left to make it a two-possession game. In addition to his marksmanship, De’Anthony did some fine work as a distributor. He fed Joel on a smooth side pick-and-roll play in the first quarter resulting in an Embiid dunk, and assisted on both of Danuel House Jr’s buckets, including the top alley-oop dunk of the night across the Association (I assume).
HOLY MOLY DANUEL HOUSE JR.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 11, 2023
HOLY. MOLY. pic.twitter.com/aKfNvxGeXU
Who is the Bell Ringer in the last-second win over Portland?
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