Sixers Bell Ringer Ranking
Joel Embiid – 14
James Harden – 13
Tyrese Maxey – 6
Tobias Harris – 5
Shake Milton – 4
Paul Reed – 2
De’Anthony Melton – 1
Georges Niang – 1
Montrezl Harrell – 1
The Sixers overcame a 15-point deficit to beat Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets 126-119 at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon, extending their winning streak to seven games.
Arguably, Joel Embiid may have had some additional personal motivation for doing so after it was announced that he would not be an All-Star starter. Add that to going up against Jokic, who has beaten out Embiid for league MVP the last two seasons, and you have the perfect recipe for a great performance from Embiid.
And that’s exactly what we got.
The big man got off to a strong start with a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double in the first half. However, defense certainly wasn’t the Sixers’ strong suit in the first half. The Nuggets were repeatedly treated to a number of wide-open threes and easy layups after the Sixers’ six turnovers in the first half. Denver shot 10 of 17 from beyond the arc and scored nine fast-break points in the first half, shooting 65.9 percent from the floor with ease and leading the Nuggets to a 15-point halftime lead.
PJ Tucker and Tobias Harris combining for zero points in the first half certainly didn’t help.
The Sixers cut the deficit to just three in the third thanks to some hot hands, 81 percent shooting from the floor compared to the Nuggets’ 39 percent shooting. The Sixers finally took their first lead since the start of the game with about five minutes left, but the Nuggets weren’t going to let them run away with it. They were close, but a dagger 3-pointer by Embiid with 30 seconds left effectively sealed it for the Sixers.
Philadelphia is now on a seven-game winning streak.
Embiid finished with a monster 47 points and 18 rebounds on Saturday, including a dagger three in 30 seconds to play that all but sealed the win for the Sixers. Harden followed with 17 points and 13 assists.
Now let’s get to the Ringer. However, let’s be honest, I think we all know who this one is.
Joel Embiid: 47 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
This guy is just a monster. Embiid started strong with 14 points in the first quarter, shooting 6 of 10 in the frame and sinking two from long range. At times he looked like he was forcing it, with a few poor passes and set pieces, but for the most part it was a solid early performance. The big man finished with a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double in the first half, but began to struggle late in the half, eventually going 8-of-17 by the break. Embiid shot much better in the second half to continue his dominance for the Sixers, shooting 71 percent and sinking two from long range in the half. Of his impressive 18 boards, six were on the offensive end, contributing to the Sixers’ 14 second-chance points.
James Harden: 17 points, 13 assists, 0 turnovers
Harden started this one looking focused in his role as a playmaker, many times drawing a double team and then missing it. He dished out six assists on zero turnovers in the first half and scored 14 points of his own accord, shooting 3-of-3 from beyond the arc on the break. Harden shifted the focus entirely to freeing up space and making plays for his team in the second half, registering seven more assists in the second half for a total of 13 dimes with zero turnovers in the process.
Georges Niang: 14 points (4 triples)
Niang may not have drawn much attention in the first half, barring his courtside altercation with Shayk Milton, but he came up big in the second half from long range to help the Sixers overcome a 15-point deficit that they once faced were upright. Niang sank three of his four 3-pointers in the second half, two of which came during that pivotal third quarter. For a moment, it looked like he couldn’t miss, especially his fourth quarter triple with just a second on the shot clock.