Sixers Bell Ringer regular season standings:
Joel Embiid: 30
Tyrese Maxey: 15
Seth Curry: 8
Tobias Harris: 5
Andrew Drummond: 3
James Harden: 2
Matisse Thybulle: 2
Furkan Korkmaz: 1
Charles Bassey: 1
Paul Millsap: 1
In perhaps their finest victory of the James Harden Era, the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 111-101, Friday night. Dallas entered this game having won 14 of its past 17 contests, yet Philadelphia controlled much of the night and led for the final 25:57. Joel Embiid and James Harden were superb. Tobias Harris was very good. Role players like Matisse Thybulle and Georges Niang stepped up. Danny Green was solid, despite a poor shooting night. It’s time to talk Bell Ringer. Let’s get to it.
Joel Embiid: 32 points, eight rebounds, five steals, four assists, one block
This was a masterful performance from Embiid. Defensively, he posed considerable trouble in ball-screens for Luka Doncic and other Maverick ball-handlers by deterring jumpers and taking away feeds to rollers. His five steals matched a career-high. Offensively, he and Harden connected for numerous buckets in the pick-and-roll, whether it be from midrange or at the rim. He also excelled as a screener, making good contact and flipping the angle when applicable. The lone blemish was six turnovers, but those are trivial, given the entirety of his performance. He was stellar on both ends, thriving as a roller, post scorer and transition firestarter. A few good passes were prevalent as well, per usual. Great outing from the MVP candidate.
James Harden: 24 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, two steals, one block
Despite a slow start as a scorer, Harden’s exquisite passing shined all night. He routinely set up teammates, primarily Embiid, for easy buckets and buoyed non-Embiid minutes as a floor general. In the fourth quarter, he scored 11 of his 24 points, including a pair of triples, and chipped in four dimes. He scored or assisted on 14 straight points to open the frame, a stretch that featured 10 consecutive points by himself. Among lobs to DeAndre Jordan, step-back jumpers or feeding Georges Niang on pick-and-pops, he diced up an excellent Mavericks defense and ensured Philadelphia didn’t wilt while Embiid rested. He also was active as an off-ball defender and fought on the ball as well. The Beard was awesome Friday.
Tobias Harris: 14 points, four rebounds, three assists
Continuing a stretch of encouraging play, Harris filled a complementary role well against Dallas. He buried two of his three long-range looks, scored on the break and attacked mismatches occasionally. His decision-making was generally swift and he also applied his size well at the point-of-attack to give Dallas some troubles offensively. The last few games have seen Harris adapt to his new role well and that didn’t change Friday. He was good.
Georges Niang: 12 points, five rebounds, one assist
All 12 of Niang’s points occurred in the second half after he misfired on three attempts before intermission. He quickly broke out of his slump, though, netting a trio of threes in the third quarter alone and helping keep Dallas at bay after it trimmed the lead to two at 70-68. His quick trigger is perfect playing alongside Embiid and Harden, which was evident in this one. He bounced back nicely following a two-game slide, when he scored 11 points on 3-of-17 shooting.