Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:
Joel Embid: 31
Tyrese Maxey: 16
Seth’s Curry: 8
Tobias Harris: 6
Andre Drummond: 3
Matisse Thybulle: 3
James Harder: 3
Furkan Korkmaz: 1
Charles Bassey: 1
Paul Millsapp: 1
It was actually a two-seeded matchup on a Sunday as the Philadelphia 76ers (tied with the Miami Heat for first place in the East before tipping) took on the Phoenix Suns. the best team in the NBA all season. They are elite on both sides of the field. Chris Paul played his second game after missing more than a month with a broken thumb, and CP3 seems to be getting back to the general floor that we are used to seeing.
The Sixers had their chances in this one but were ultimately overwhelmed. They fell 114-104, fading down the streak in a game that looked closer than the final scoreline indicated.
Let’s establish our bell ringer.
Joel Embiid: 37 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
Each team’s respective MVP candidate came out swinging as Embiid’s Sixers and Devin Booker’s Suns traded hay offensively from the jump.
Embiid played almost the entire opening frame and was a problem for the Deandre Ayton-Bismack Biyombo duo. Joel finished first with 15 points and four boards. He pulled out all the stops, finishing a few in fabulous fashion:
Embiid had an unusually poor first half on the boards. He was just 5 out of 9 at the break. But he took it back after that.
Scary moment that we will have to watch. With 1:36 to go in the third quarter, Embiid fell to the ground limping. A game or two ago he found himself all alone under the ledge and finished a lay-up as Booker may settled under Embiid’s landing space. Booker came to him saying it was purely an accident. But Embiid was seen grimacing on the bench and winced after landing hard on one of his resounding blocks after returning. I hope it doesn’t swell because this man is on an absolute mission. Too bad he didn’t have a bit more help as the future MVP played well enough to pick up another signature victory.
Tobias Harris: 17 points 2 assists, 8 rebounds
Harris struggled a lot in the team’s first handful of games with The Beard, but he dedicated himself to the defensive end of the pitch again and suddenly his attack started to increase as well.
Harris drained five of his first six shots against Phoenix, getting buckets in the half court on smaller players, making good reads and also coming out in transition for finishes.
Maybe there was something in that desert air, as Harris was in his bag in the first half, scoring with the spin and then the scoop:
Harris was awesome in the minutes Embiid sat out in that second quarter as the Sixers somehow went up 15 despite DeAndre Jordan being there. Tobi had 15 points at halftime and Philly led 64-60 at the break.
Unfortunately there was an intermission and he couldn’t continue in the second half, he finished with two points the rest of the ball game.
James Harden: 14 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 2-11 from the floor
After a game against the Los Angeles Clippers where Harden was dominating, this one was a big disappointment.
It hurts because Harden just didn’t play well and didn’t look good health-wise.
We’re putting Harden here not because he’s worthy of being the bell ringer, but unfortunately it’s because we just need to talk about it.
The worst news of the weekend is that with about eight and a half minutes left in the fourth, Alaa Abdelnaby noted on the show that The Beard was grabbing his hamstring area. the game, but it looked quite limited there.
Prior to that, it had been a mixed bag at best for Harden and ultimately, another very disappointing performance for him against an elite team. It’s something that’s all too common for him in 2021-22 and now Nets fans and Sixers fans can tell you about it.
Doc Rivers said The Beard’s hamstrings are “not there yet,” but the team hopes it will be by playoff time. He’s working with a specialist to try to get it right, but it’s possible he suffered a setback on Sunday. We’ll keep an eye on that too.
Tough stretch: The Sixers led 15 with 7:21 left in the second. Harden missed a three, Chris Paul hit one, then Harden had a surefire layup, but looking for a continuation he easily turns two or three for Philly in a flagrant foul elbowing the former Sixer Landry Shamet. The Suns hit their free throw and a three and boom, it was a six- or seven-point swing. It seemed like a key turning point in the ball game and reminded me of when the Sixers had a big lead against the Denver Nuggets recently and then quickly let that team back into the game.
It started a 13-0 run for Phoenix that cut the lead to four at halftime.
Harden makes such effortless pocket passes on his pick-and-rolls with Joel Embiid, but too often he allows defenders to catch him as he looks to finish around the cut.
Tyrese Maxey had one of his toughest matches in a long time. We’ll just mention it here along with a not-so-honorable mention. But that’s not totally shocking for a player who just turned 21. worrying reminder that this team depends on such a young player who has been brilliant throughout the season, but can continue to have occasional downs with all the ups we’ve seen.
With a showdown against the Bucks on Tuesday and eight games remaining, we’ll have to hope for health above anything in the standings or standings.
Who was the Sunday bell ringer?