Sixers Playoff Bell Ringer standings
Tyrese Maxey - 2
James Harden - 1
The Philadelphia 76ers completed the sweep of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday, taking Game 4, 96-88.
The Sixers were without their leader Joel Embiid after he was scratched from the contest with a knee sprain suffered in Game 3.
Philadelphia couldn’t hit a shot to start this one, shooting 9-for-24 from the floor and missing all three triple attempts in the first frame and allowing Brooklyn to take the early advantage. Despite shooting 34 percent from the floor and putting up just 40 points in the half, the Sixers only trailed the Nets by eight at the break.
The Sixers strung together a 14-0 run in the third to take the lead for the first time since sinking the first bucket of the game. They held a three-point lead going into the final frame on the back of a 10-point third from Tyrese Maxey. The pieces started to really come together in the fourth, with Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton, and Paul Reed all stepping up in different ways to help the Sixers extend their lead to double-digits and hold on for the win. The Philadelphia defense held the Nets to just 40 second-half points on their way to their first playoff sweep since 1991.
Tobias Harris: 25 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block
Harris continues to look accurate and efficient on offense during these playoffs, and he was pretty much the only Sixer with those qualities on Saturday, especially in the first half. With the Sixers’ dismal 34 percent field goal shooting in the first half, Harris was 5-for-8 and sank a triple for his team-leading 11 first-half points. By the third period, he had a double-double, pulling in his tenth rebound in the frame. He had a highlight-worthy three-point play in the fourth, bullying Spencer Dinwiddie, drawing a foul and hitting a spinning jumper. He capped off the performance with a corner three late the fourth that put the final nail in the coffin containing the Nets’ postseason run.
Defensively, Harris came up huge as well. As the primary defender on Mikal Bridges, Harris was instrumental in holding the young rising star to 14 points on 5-for-17 shooting in this contest. Harris was on point on both ends of the floor on Saturday and was a vital reason the Sixers were able to head out of Brooklyn with the win.
Tyrese Maxey: 16 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
After a slow start, scoring just two in the opening frame, Maxey started to heat up as the game progressed. He had a nice steal, scoop and score to cut Brooklyn’s lead to just one point in the second, but still wasn’t quite hitting the mark on offense. However, after just a six-point first half, Maxey ramped up, as is becoming customary for the young guard out of Kentucky. He put up a big 10-point third period as the Sixers claimed the lead.
James Harden: 16 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 steal, 1 block
I’ll be honest. This wasn’t a pretty one for Harden. The highs were high and the lows were low in this performance. He seems to still be completely stymied by mid- and close-range shots at the moment, shooting just 2-for-13 from within the arc on Saturday. But he’s still effectively driving toward the rim, drawing attention for kick-outs or drawing fouls. Harden shot 7-for-8 from the charity stripe in this one (after not shooting a single free throw in the first two games of this series). He had the Nets on ice skates on more than one occasion, but also lost the ball himself a few times. High highs and low lows. He finished with a 17-point, 11-assist double-double with eight rebounds.
Paul Reed: 10 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
This was a tale of two halves for Reed. In the first half, he struggled shooting under the rim, wasn’t as solid as usual pulling in rebounds and was being outplayed on defense by Nic Claxton. In the second, a different story, especially the fourth quarter. Suddenly, Reed was everywhere on the court, pulling in contested rebounds, extending possessions for the Sixers and locking down the Nets on defense. He finished with 15 rebounds, a career-high for Reed, including eight on the offensive end, with 10 points for the double-double. On the defensive end, Reed put up a block and had one steal. That second half was Reed convincingly making the most of his opportunity in the absence of Embiid.
Who is the Sixers’ Bell Ringer for Game 4?
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