Sixers Bell Ringer standings
Joel Embiid - 26
James Harden - 17
Tyrese Maxey - 12
Tobias Harris - 5
Shake Milton - 4
De’Anthony Melton - 3
Paul Reed - 3
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1
Jalen McDaniels - 1
The Philadelphia 76ers lost their third consecutive game Monday night, falling 116-111 to the hosting Denver Nuggets, closing out what turned out to be a brutal road trip for the Sixers.
The Sixers were without star duo Joel Embiid and James Harden in this one. We know everyone was hoping for Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic for the final time this regular season, but Embiid is still dealing with right calf tightness and was ruled out. Harden was a late scratch after taking part in shootaround Monday as he continues to recover from Achilles soreness.
Without the dynamic duo, Tyrese Maxey continued to step up as he has in this recent string of games. Maxey exploded in the second for a 20-point period, basically single-handedly keeping the Sixers in striking distance of a full-strength Nuggets squad entering the half.
With only Maxey, Tobias Harris and Paul Reed producing for Philadelphia, Denver was able to pull away in the second half. Frankly, it looked completely over for awhile, with the Sixers down 22 at one point. Everyone thought it was over. It wasn’t until there was just a few minutes left that the Sixers’ deep bench staged a comeback, down three with just 13 seconds to play. A controversial missed out-of-bounds resulted in a Sixers’ foul on Jeff Green, sending him to the line to extend the Nuggets’ lead to five and that was the end of that. But it definitely turned out more interesting than anyone expected.
The Sixers were led by Maxey with 29 points followed by Reed and Harris each with 16. Jokic led the Nuggets with a 25-point, 17-rebound, 12-assist triple-double.
The Sixers finally return to South Philadelphia when they host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. For now, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.
Tyrese Maxey: 29 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Maxey struggled a bit with accuracy early, but thankfully he kept on shooting. After exploding for a 20-point second period, he led the Sixers at the half with 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting, sinking two triples and showing a ton of aggression getting into the paint for layups. His footwork and athleticism throughout deserves some recognition — Maxey flew through the entire Nuggets defense straight to the basket a number of times.
Maxey has been stepping up in the absence of Harden and now Embiid. In these past four games without Harden, Maxey has averaged 27 points. It hasn’t translated to wins because he’s lacked support, but Maxey is the reason the Sixers even had a chance in a few of these.
Paul Reed: 16 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block
Reed needs to be recognized for his aggression on the boards, something desperately needed in this Sixers squad that gives up a ton of momentum and points to opponent rebounding. Reed scored four points and grabbed five rebounds, three on the defensive end, in the first half. The game was a bit out of reach for the Sixers after halftime, but that didn’t stop Reed. He had a nice block on Aaron Gordon in the third period, and later in the same frame took a steal coast-to-coast for a lay-up, and-one play. He earned the Sixers a number of second and even third chances throughout his time on the floor with three offensive boards. Reed finished this one with 16 points (7-for-7 field goal shooting), nine rebounds, two steals and one block in about 17 minutes on the floor.
BBall Paul doing his thing at Ball Arena tonight. pic.twitter.com/PIXdHuP3u1— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) March 28, 2023
Tobias Harris: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Harris looked good early in this one, kicking things off with a catch-and-shoot three. He was really the only bright spot the Sixers had early on, scoring eight of Philadelphia’s 18 total first-quarter points. His shooting cooled off a bit in the second, but he still was second only to Maxey in scoring for the Sixers in the first half with 12 points. Unfortunately, Harris fell off as the game progressed, finishing with 16 points, five rebounds and two assists. But hey, it was slim picking for Bell Ringer options tonight.
Who was the Sixers’ Bell Ringer in Monday’s matchup vs. the Nuggets?
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