Sixers Bell Ringer standings
Joel Embiid - 22
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
In the national spotlight once again, the Sixers took care of the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 118-109. Despite 18 turnovers on the night and a 13-point deficit in the third quarter, the Sixers quickly turned the tide, taking the lead back in the period and ultimately securing the season series against the Cavs with the victory. It was the sixth straight win for Philadelphia, who have all but locked up at least the three seed in the Eastern Conference. Let’s take a look at tonight’s top performers.
Joel Embiid: 36 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks, 6 turnovers
Even fouling out can’t stop Joel Embiid from scoring! With four minutes left in the game, Joel was called for a push-off on Evan Mobley while going up for a made jumper, his sixth personal. Doc Rivers challenged the call and it was overturned, something Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff let the refs know about for the rest of the night. The strange sequence was a capper on what was otherwise a truly dominant two-way performance from Embiid. The big man routinely barreled his way through one, two, or even three Cleveland defenders, and also had the smooth jumper working, leaving the Cavs in a no-win situation. Defensively, Joel was also a game-changer, often getting to play as a roamer and rejecting numerous Cleveland dunk attempts. MVP odds on the online sportsbooks literally changed in his favor during the game, and it’s easy to see why.
JOEL EMBIID IS UNGUARDABLE! pic.twitter.com/Tj2MXKsdYN— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) March 16, 2023
James Harden: 28 points, 6 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers
Tonight marked the 32nd time this season that Harden tallied a points-assists double-double, passing Wilt Chamberlain and Mo Cheeks for the most by a Sixer in a year. While The Beard was excellent as a playmaker throughout the game, he really shined in the fourth quarter, when he racked up 13 points and five assists to help bring the win home. He once again anchored the non-Embiid lineup, and helped the Sixers create some breathing room early in that final frame, particularly back-to-back possessions where he drained a three and then drew the defense and fed an open Georges Niang for another triple. James continues to play All-Star-level basketball and the combination with he and Embiid has never looked better.
Tyrese Maxey: 23 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers
Remember when the knock on Maxey was people weren’t sure how he would project as a shooter? That speculation now feels like it took place in some other branch of the multiverse. Tyrese continued to scorch the nets, shooting 5-of-7 from downtown, some looks with an extremely high degree of difficulty. He hit one trey early in the game that was well-contested as he faded towards the corner. Of course, Maxey ended his evening with a catch-and-shoot number from about 28 feet at the top of the key with two minutes left. It stretched the lead from three to six, shoveling that final spade of dirt on the Cavaliers’ chances of a win.
Shake Milton: 11 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers
I have to include Shake Milton tonight, who made the most of his 21 minutes on the court, finishing 4-of-5 from the field, including a perfect 3-of-3 from downtown. Not only did Shake hit a pair of threes in the fourth quarter, but he had a nifty little shovel pass to P.J. Tucker off a drive that resulted in an and-one opportunity (Tucker missed the free throw). Milton’s minutes get yo-yoed, sometimes playing around 20 like tonight, or around eight minutes like two games ago against Portland, but he has always been ready to contribute and been steady all season. Salute to you, Shake.
Who is the Bell Ringer in Cleveland?
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