Sixers Playoff Bell Ringer standings
James Harden - 3
Joel Embiid - 3
Tyrese Maxey - 2
Tobias Harris - 1
The Philadelphia 76ers dropped Game 6 to the Boston Celtics, 95-86, in South Philadelphia on Thursday night.
The Celtics jumped out to a speedy double-digit lead off a 12-0 run, assisted by the Sixers shooting just 1-for-11 to get the game started. Twitter was erupting and the Wells Fargo Center filled with a queasy, restless quiet. Pack it up, move on to Game 7. Then, Tyrese Maxey used his speed for a steal and breakaway layup that kickstarted a 9-0 Philadelphia run to somewhat rebalance things. It was short-lived. By a few minutes into the second, the Celtics were back up by double digits. A 13-4 run to close the half brought the Sixers back within striking distance, down just seven at the half.
And they weren’t giving up without a fight. In the third, a pair of triples by Georges Niang and increased production by Joel Embiid helped lead the Sixers to tying the game and even taking the advantage back from the Celtics. The hosts led by two at the end of the third, and the Sixers were just 12 minutes away from their first Eastern Conference Final since the 2000-01 season.
Just 12 minutes. What could go wrong?
For over half the period, neither team led by more than two points. The advantage just seesawed from the Sixers to the Celtics and back again. They were going to make this painful, of course. With just two and a half minutes to play, the Celtics had a five-point lead. Jayson Tatum hit a three to take the lead jump to eight for Boston, and the Sixers couldn’t buy a bucket. The Celtics held on to take Game 6
The series is tied 3-3. We are headed back to Boston. Game 7 is set for Sunday.
For now, we talk Bell Ringer.
Tyrese Maxey: 26 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Maxey was basically the lone bright spot for the Sixers in the first half. In the first period, when the Sixers desperately needed it, the kid used his speed for a steal, scoop and score that kickstarted a 9-0 run that saved this game from being over before it even started. He tacked on two triples in the frame. With a third triple to close the second period, Maxey finished the half 3-for-5 from long range, while the rest of the Sixers were 2-for-14 from beyond the arc. He finished the first half with a team-leading 15 points.
Maxey make. pic.twitter.com/eGKAkwnh8f— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 12, 2023
Maxey cooled off a bit in the third from long range, but still tacked on six points in a crucial third that saw the advantage swing from the Celtics to the Sixers. He got right back to work in the fourth, bringing the energy with a dunk as the Sixers battled to hold the lead. Moments later, he picked up his third steal of the game, earning a clear-path foul. He ended up with 26 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Joel Embiid: 26 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 blocks
The big man looked out of sorts for a chunk of this one, especially in the first half, and struggled against the defense of Al Horford. What’s amazing is that he still contributes the amounts he does, even when he’s having a relatively “bad” night for half the game.
After a 12-point first half, Embiid finally found some footing in the third period. There was still the sloppiness of a few turnovers, but other tides were turning as well. Jumpers started sinking, drives were penetrating to the rim, and he was earning trips to the line in a eight-point third for the MVP. He looked solid on defense as well with a block and a steal in the frame. He picked up his third block of the night in the fourth, and went on to finish the night with a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double along with an assist and a steal.
2️⃣6️⃣ for @JoelEmbiid. pic.twitter.com/u4Y8sT1E0n— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 12, 2023
Georges Niang: 2 for 3 three-pointers
This is more of a shoutout, but Niang has been trusted in some big moments by Doc Rivers these past few games, and he has delivered, especially tonight. Niang sank two momentous triples in the third frame to claw the Sixers back into a tie and even in the lead of Game 6. It might not seem like much, but these were crucial in the Sixers having a shot in this one as the game progressed.
https://t.co/R25HGp2hQm pic.twitter.com/PVw6Wq23kY— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 12, 2023
Who is the Sixers’ Bell Ringer for Game 6 vs. the Boston Celtics?