Sixers Playoff Bell Ringer standings
James Harden - 1
While both teams crossed the century mark and the Philadelphia 76ers hosted an offensive exhibition in their 121-101, Game 1 victory on Saturday, Tuesday’s contest was a rock fight. After the Brooklyn Nets controlled much of the first half, Philadelphia rode a 20-5 third quarter run that flipped the tide in their favor and won, 96-84. The Nets continued to aggressively double the majority of Joel Embiid’s touches and the Sixers didn’t bring the same execution as Game 1 to burn them most of the night. But among Embiid’s tremendous defense, Tyrese Maxey’s 33 points and timely contributions from others, Philadelphia pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 2-0 series lead. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
Tyrese Maxey: 33 points, three rebounds, one block
Unlike last year, Maxey didn’t explode in Game 1 this season, but compensated with a sensational Game 2. As Brooklyn loaded up to contain the NBA scoring champion, Maxey consistently found himself with — and engineered — chances to let it fly from deep or puncture closeouts with his burst. He did both effectively, drilling six triples and going 7 of 10 inside the arc. As James Harden struggled (eight points, 3-of-13 shooting) and Embiid was swarmed, Maxey assumed the grandest scoring load, leading the team in points and field goal attempts, both by sizable margins. Defensively, he was pretty sturdy on the ball, particularly against Spencer Dinwiddie, playing physically, getting under him and bothering some of the veteran guard’s creation attempts. The third-year speedster was superb. His lone blemish stood as a 1-of-3 showing at the charity stripe. I think everyone can overlook that.
Joel Embiid: 20 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, one steal
Just as the Nets did Saturday, they brought the heat on the big fella’s touches in this one. They mixed up where the doubles came from at times, which flustered Philadelphia and its spacing principles. Yet Embiid still got off the ball in a prompt manner and helped create good looks, which the Sixers were much better about capitalizing on in the second half (at least in spurts). The eight turnovers overstate his issues on doubles because one was a kicked ball violation, another immediately resulted in a foul in the Sixers’ favor when they retained possession, and two occurred in the game’s final 20 seconds when Philadelphia was running out the clock.
Anyhow, Embiid handled doubles effectively, found a bit of scoring rhythm in the second half with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting and completely wreaked havoc defensively. He patrolled the glass behind 19 boards to tie the second-most of his playoff career. Fifteen of them were gobbled up in the first half, when Embiid appeared rather diligent about boxing out and high-pointing the ball. In other areas, he toggled between interior enforcer and switchable big man. He contained dribble penetration repeatedly and covered absurd lengths of ground to rotate and protect the rim inside. The dude was an absolute monster defensively and shut off the paint. The Nets shot 8-of-17 at the rim in Game 2. Embiid’s efforts were the headlining factor.
Tobias Harris: 20 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal
Although Harris was limited to 11 first-half minutes because of foul trouble, the veteran swingman turned in quite the reliable, well-rounded performance after intermission. He sat for only two minutes, notched 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, snagged seven boards (three offensive), dished out two dimes and plucked a steal. In fact, his five total offensive rebounds mark the second-most of his playoff career and he played a significant part in the Sixers dominating that battle again. Through two games, Harris is enjoying a really good series and picking his spots well offensively.
Who is the Bell Ringer for the Sixers’ Game 2 win over the Nets?
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