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Sixers Bell Ringer: Hospital Sixers fall just short after absolute battle vs. Denver Nuggets

The Philadelphia 76ers went into Denver to face the Nuggets without Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey or Tobias Harris and put up an impressive fight before falling 111-105 on Saturday.

Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

Bell Ringer Season Totals:

Joel Embiid - 19

Tyrese Maxey - 7

Tobias Harris - 5

Kelly Oubre Jr. - 3

De’Anthony Melton - 2

Paul Reed - 2

Patrick Beverley - 1

Ricky Council IV - 1

Danuel House Jr. - 1

Jaden Springer - 1

Is there such a thing as an enjoyable loss?

The Philadelphia 76ers were without Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and De’Anthony Melton, as well as Robert Covington and Mo Bamba, taking on Nikola Jokic and the defending-champion Denver Nuggets. After one hell of a battle, the Nuggets were able to just edge out the Sixers 111-105 on Saturday.

The Sixers started Nico Batum, Marcus Morris Sr., Paul Reed, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Patrick Beverley. I’ll be honest, my hopes weren’t super high at the tip.

Well, shame on me. The Sixers came out with some serious hustle. They trailed by just four after the first frame, with the squad shooting 65 percent from the floor and Reed leading the way with 10 points. Reed, Beverley and Morris were commanding the Sixers’ offense into the second. At the break, the Sixers trailed the Nuggets by just two after shooting 66.7 percent from the floor in the first half. Morris led the team with 17 points on 7-for-9 field goal shooting at halftime.

A few turnovers and some cold shooting early in the third from the Sixers gave the Nuggets an opportunity to gain a bit more of an advantage, but Philadelphia fought back again after a Nick Nurse timeout. Pretty much everyone for the Sixers was contributing in some way, and it all added up to a two-point advantage over the hosting Nuggets headed into the final frame.

The final period was just as much a battle as the previous three had been, but the Nuggets began to pull away with a few minutes to play and absolutely nothing falling for the Sixers. Denver was able to hold on to defeat the Sixers 111-105.

This was the most fun I think I’ve ever had watching a loss. These Sixers all looked like they absolutely wanted a win from the tip and weren’t afraid to chase it against the defending NBA champions. Good for them.

The Sixers now head to the West Coast, and that means it’s time for the late night starts (ugh). They will take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night at 10 p.m. ET.

Until then, let’s get to the Bell Ringer.

Paul Reed: 30 points, 13 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals

Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

Reed had some of the best minutes of his season in the first period of Saturday’s game. He might not have the prettiest jumper, but the midrange shots were falling so who cares about aesthetic. Reed was 5-for-7 from the floor with 10 points, five rebounds and two steals after the first frame. He was just getting started. After catching some rest and tacking on four points in the second, he added nine in the third period including a rare triple.

This was the best performance of Reed’s NBA career. He finished with a career-high 30 points on 14-for-21 field goal shooting including two uncharacteristic triples, pulled in 13 rebounds, had one assist and two steals.

Patrick Beverley: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 blocks

Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

Pat Bev must be fueled by opportunities to lead like he had tonight, because he comes out with an entirely different level of energy. Beverley was in complete command of the offense and did a great job to get his teammates in rhythm with good opportunities. He had eight dimes by halftime in addition to 13 points of his own. With just under nine minutes left in the third, Beverley notched his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 assists. He finished with 17 points, four rebounds and 11 assists as well as two blocks.

Looking past the stat sheet, there were a number of instances throughout this one where Beverley took the opportunity to use his veteran experience to coach his younger teammates. This is hardly the first time this season he’s been a teacher for the kids, but it was really on display tonight and it’s a huge thing having Beverley brings to the table for this team.

Marcus Morris Sr.: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists

Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Morris might not always be the most consistent performer for the Sixers but when he’s on, he’s absolutely on. Morris led for Philadelphia at halftime with 17 points on 7-for-9 field goal shooting. He seemed a little gassed in the third and fourth, playing a lot more minutes than he’s accustomed to these days, and his shooting began to suffer. That being said, he still deserves credit for carrying the offensive load for the Sixers early on.

Kelly Oubre Jr.: 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks

Philadelphia 76ers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

Oubre hasn’t had the easiest go of things recently with some inconsistent performances to say the least, but tonight his chaos-fueled energy worked for him. He was athletic, energetic and aggressive throughout. It wasn’t the cleanest game, he had a number of what I thought were somewhat silly and costly fouls, but he absolutely delivered offensively and helped the Sixers stay in this one. Oubre finished with 25 points, five rebounds (two on the offensive end), three assists and two blocks.

KJ Martin: 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block

DENVER NUGGETS VS PHILADELPHIA 76ERS, NBA Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

Absolutely have to shout out KJ here. Martin went from very limited playing time over the past months to guarding Jokic on national television, and he frankly did a decent job. His athleticism and energy provided a nice boost to the Sixers when they had cooled off a bit in the third. He had seven points, four rebounds, one assist and a block.

Poll

Who was the Sixers Bell Ringer against the Denver Nuggets?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Paul Reed
    (477 votes)
  • 15%
    Patrick Beverley
    (89 votes)
  • 0%
    Marcus Morris Sr.
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Kelly Oubre Jr.
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    KJ Martin
    (7 votes)
582 votes total Vote Now

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