Sixers Playoff Bell Ringer standings
Tyrese Maxey - 2
James Harden - 1
Tobias Harris - 1
Despite Joel Embiid watching from the bench in a Balenciaga sweatshirt and Boston shooting 58.7 percent from the field, the Philadelphia 76ers pulled off the upset in Game 1, 119-115.
After a game that saw 14 ties and 16 lead changes, everything came down to the final 30 seconds. Tyrese Maxey snagged an errant Celtics pass at the top of the key and raced down court for a lay-in to put the Sixers ahead, 114-113. Jayson Tatum then drew a foul and hit both free throws to put Boston back in front. With the final seconds ticking down, James Harden caught Al Horford on a switch and drained a huge three-pointer. No clapping from Big Al on this one. The Sixers came up with a great defensive stop and Paul Reed sank two free throws to seal the win. Philadelphia now leads the series, 1-0, and has gained home-court advantage and two more days of rest for Embiid and his sprained LCL.
Savor this one, Sixers fans. Now on to Bell Ringer...
James Harden: 45 points, 1 rebound, 6 assists, 2 steals, 3 turnovers
Over a week’s worth of rest and a leisurely trip to Sin City seemed to have done Harden a world of good. The Beard made his first five field goal attempts, draining mid-range jumpers against drop coverage and nailing stepback threes when getting the switch onto bigger defenders. He even mixed in some of those drives to the basket that eluded him in the first round on his way to a 17-of-30 shooting performance (7-of-14 from behind the arc). He bookended his 16-point first quarter by carrying his team across the finish line with 15 points in the final frame, part of his playoff-career-high-tying 45 points. His game-winner over Al Horford nicely tied a bow on an entire era of Sixers transactions and will go down as one of the most exciting moments for a generation of Philadelphia playoff basketball.
JAMES HARDEN FROM DEEP— NBA (@NBA) May 2, 2023
HE HAS 45 PTS. SIXERS LEAD 117-115.
8 SECONDS LEFT ON TNT pic.twitter.com/qWu1dmMhkg
Tyrese Maxey: 26 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 4 steals, 0 turnovers
This was not a flawless game from Tyrese Maxey. He tried defensively but struggled mightily when matched up on the Celtics’ bigger wings, and after drawing his fifth foul in the fourth quarter, his defense became strictly theoretical. But although Maxey had his share of struggles against Boston this season, he looked confident in attacking on the offensive end, despite not having his best outside shooting night (2-of-9 from three). Maxey had his clockwork third quarter surge, going off for 11 points in the period, including a couple insane scoop finishes. He went cold thereafter, but provided a couple huge plays down the stretch: an and-one finish that rightly held up as a blocking foul on Marcus Smart upon review, and that pick six in the final minute. Imagine a Maxey game this series where his shot is falling.
Physics follow the laws of Tyrese Maxey pic.twitter.com/JNNgnnfakW— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 2, 2023
De’Anthony Melton: 17 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 turnover
With the Celtics still hitting every shot in sight during the first half, it was De’Anthony Melton who took the offensive baton in the second quarter to keep the Sixers in the game. Melton scored 14 of his 17 points in the period, going 4-of-4 from behind the arc, part of his 5-of-5 first half. Melton needs to be on the floor a ton to utilize his defensive versatility, so when he is hitting shots at an above average clip or better, it’s icing on the cake. While he only attempted one shot in the second half, De’Anthony locked down Jaylen Brown and Malcolm Brogdon for a couple huge blocks on drives to the bucket. Daryl Morey’s win now trade on draft night looks brilliant tonight.
Honorable Mention: Paul Reed for going 4-of-4 from the foul line in the final minutes, and playing great defense on the Celtics’ final possession down two.
Who is the Bell Ringer from the Sixers’ Game 1 win in Boston?
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