Sixers Bell Ringer standings
Joel Embiid - 26
James Harden - 18
Tyrese Maxey - 12
Tobias Harris - 5
Shake Milton - 4
Paul Reed - 4
De’Anthony Melton - 4
Georges Niang - 1
Montrezl Harrell - 1
Matisse Thybulle - 1
Jalen McDaniels - 1
The Bucks hung 41 points in the first quarter and never gave up their lead as the Sixers fell, 117-104, Sunday night.
Milwaukee took a 16-point advantage into halftime. Led by a much better defensive effort, the Sixers chipped away in the third quarter, cutting the Bucks’ lead to as low as five.
But Joel Embiid picked up his fourth foul with 2:18 left in the third and Milwaukee holding an eight-point lead — far from insurmountable and a nice dent in the halftime deficit. From there, Giannis Antetokounmpo had an open path to the basket, sparking an 11-5 run to close the period.
The Sixers never got any closer as the Bucks stretched their lead to as much as 22 before Doc Rivers waved the white flag. The teams split their season series, 2-2, with each squad stealing a game on the road.
Let’s talk Bell Ringer.
Tyrese Maxey: 29 points, 6 of 7 from three, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Maxey was the clear bright spot for the Sixers throughout the night, especially during the team’s third-quarter run. His speed was difference-making, just like the previous game in Milwaukee. If these two teams square off in the second round, Maxey has the potential to be a huge x-factor. He’s averaged 23.5 points in four games against the Bucks this season (with one game cut short by a broken bone in his foot).
Maxey pairing that blazing speed with lethal three-point shooting has made him incredibly dangerous.
And just a shoutout to Maxey for upping his game on the defensive end. He’s been picking up opposing guards full court and been effective doing so. It seems to have bled into his half-court defense as well. He had a highlight reel strip on a Giannis transition layup and then drew a foul on the other end. The 22-year-old is still ascending — on both ends.
Joel Embiid: 28 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists
There was a point in the third quarter where it felt like this was shaping up to be a big Embiid game. He was picking his spots offensively against Brook Lopez and making good decisions (one turnover). You felt like if the Sixers could just survive that stretch without Embiid he could swoop in to save the day in the fourth, but Harden was swallowed up by Jrue Holiday most of the night.
It felt like Maxey’s offense and Embiid’s defense shifted the tide when the Sixers went on their run. If anything this game should serve as a stark reminder for Doc Rivers that Giannis should never be on the court without Embiid in a playoff scenario.
The positive is how Embiid has fared in his last three games against Lopez. In the second game of the season, Embiid was out of shape after an offseason bout with plantar fasciitis. Embiid forced the action and Lopez took advantage. The last three times they’ve squared off, Embiid has averaged 30.3 points and 7.6 assists. He also had two turnovers combined in the last two games against Milwaukee.
Normally we’d give you a third option, but ... yeah.
Who is the Sixers Bell Ringer in their loss to the Bucks?
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