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Sixers Bell Ringer: Philly offense prolific, while its defense no-shows against torrid Mavs

It was a shootout Thursday in Dallas and the Mavericks had a bit more firepower to snag the win.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers Bell Ringer standings

Joel Embiid - 19

James Harden - 16

Tyrese Maxey - 10

Tobias Harris - 5

Shake Milton - 4

Paul Reed - 3

De’Anthony Melton - 1

Georges Niang - 1

Montrezl Harrell - 1

Matisse Thybulle - 1

Aiming to punctuate the second leg of their road back-to-back with a win after Wednesday’s victory in Miami, the Philadelphia 76ers ventured to Dallas for a nationally televised showdown. Despite Joel Embiid’s return, the Sixers’ defense couldn’t slow the Mavericks’ prolific attack. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 82 points. Embiid, Harden and Maxey countered with a collective 91 of their own as well. Dallas rode an extended 36-15 run in the third quarter to stretch open the game and held off Philadelphia’s late comeback before winning, 133-126. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.

Tyrese Maxey: 29 points, two assists, two rebounds, one steal

Maxey rejoined the starting five on Wednesday, but stayed there when Embiid returned on Thursday. While he opened the game a bit slowly and struggled to contain Kyrie Irving defensively, the third-year guard was integral to Philadelphia making this a close contest in the fourth quarter. He scored 17 of his 29 points in the frame, and nabbed a deflection that resulted in a turnover and and-one for Jalen McDaniels. His blend of shot-making, explosiveness and relentlessness overwhelmed the Mavericks to begin the fourth quarter. Irving posed significant issues, but Melton didn’t offer much more resistance either, so it’s tough to fault him much for that, from my perspective. It’ll be interesting to see if the Sixers hold firm on this renewed starting five for Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

James Harden: 27 points, 13 assists, four rebounds

In a first quarter that saw the two sides post a combined 75 points, Harden delighted with 16 points (4-of-4 shooting), a trio of triples and seven dimes. He hunted mismatches in early offense, set up Embiid for easy buckets and looked comfortable matching Doncic and Irving’s scoring exploits. Yet, much like the rest of the rotation, he wasn’t sharp defensively throughout the night, especially as it pertained to rotating in help and recovering to perimeter shooters in a timely fashion. When he returned to the game midway through the fourth, he delivered a couple brutal turnovers directly to Mavericks defenders and only took one shot (a made three) during his 8.5-minute stint in the final period. By and large, the 10-time All-Star was good on Thursday, but the first quarter showcase felt like a dominant outlier compared to the rest of the game. Perhaps, that’s too harsh an assessment because, again, he was still pretty dang good. The Sixers could’ve just used a bit more down the stretch.

Joel Embiid: 35 points, eight rebounds, two steals, one assist

Re-entering the fold after a one-game break, Embiid exploited Dallas’ undersized frontline with 35 points and even nabbed four offensive rebounds as well. The Mavericks’ interior defense is headlined by Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber, both of whom are effective and useful defenders, but neither of whom can match Embiid in the paint and the big fella recognized that. He tallied a couple putbacks, mixed in midrange jumpers and dives to the rim, and went to the line for 13 free-throw attempts. Defensively, however, Embiid looked a beat late on numerous interior rotations that either invited easy scores around the basket or forced help elsewhere and created open perimeter looks. The Sixers’ defensive shortcomings in this one shouldn’t all be pinned on him, but their anchor certainly didn’t help extinguish as many breakdowns as necessary either.


Who is the Bell Ringer from Thursday’s loss to the Mavericks?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Tyrese Maxey
    (275 votes)
  • 15%
    James Harden
    (59 votes)
  • 10%
    Joel Embiid
    (39 votes)
373 votes total Vote Now

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