Sixers Bell Ringer: The Sixers are hanging on to beat the Heat

Sixers Bell Ringer: The Sixers are hanging on to beat the Heat

Bell Ranger season totals:

Joel Embiid – 19

Therese Maxey – 13

Kelly Oubre Jr. – 8

Tobias Harris – 7

Paul Reed – 4

DeAnthony Milton – 3

Jaden Springer – 3

Reiki Council IV – 2

Buddy Hield – 2

Patrick Beverley – 1

Danuel House Jr. – 1

Furkan Korkmaz – 1

Tercavion Smith – 1

Well, they made it interesting again, but the Philadelphia 76ers ultimately held on to beat the Miami Heat 98-91 on Monday night.

Both teams were a bit short on this one. The Sixers are still without Tobias Harris (as well as Joel Embiid, Dean Anthony Milton and Robert Covington). Meanwhile, the Heat were without Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro.

The Sixers got cooking early thanks to Tyrese Maxey, who scored 17 points in the first frame to lead Philadelphia to a 31-23 lead in the second half. Unfortunately, when Maxey sat down to take a break, the Sixers’ advantage went with him. In what was ultimately a very poor second period offensively for Philadelphia, a simple explosion in the final two minutes (and a last-second corner kick from Kelly Oubre Jr.) helped the Sixers stay ahead 51-49 going into the locker room at halftime. Maxey and Oubre combined for 32 of Philly’s points in the first half.

The first five minutes of the third period was probably the best case scenario for the Sixers in their current situation. They looked like a real, complete NBA team! Maxey hit buckets, Oubre created assists on punts, and Mo Bamba (yes, Mo Bamba!) made things happen in what might be his best minutes as a Sixer yet — all culminating in a 15-0 Sixers run that gave Philly Double digit lead chance. They led the Heat by 14 points in the final frame.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Sixers are big to start the fourth period, Maxey takes the bench to get some rest…and it all falls apart. Midway through the final period, we suddenly had a tied game after the Heat spread out, taking advantage of several turnovers and mistakes by the Sixers on a 20-6 run. The Heat battled the rest of the way, but the Sixers were able to hang on long enough to beat Miami 98-91 on Monday night.

The Sixers will then head to the road to the West Coast and… Oh my God, here it is, 10 p.m. ET starts. First up is a trip to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

Until then, let’s get to the bell ringer.

Tyrese Maxey: 30 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal, 1 block.

Photography by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Remember when this kid started out slow when it came to scoring goals? Not so much anymore. Maxey got off to a hot start Monday with 17 points in the first period, marking his fifth straight game with double-digit points in the first frame. He did so shooting 6-for-9 field goals, 2-for-3 from long range, and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. By halftime, he had 18 points, four rebounds and five assists, including this fastball across the court to Kyle Lowry.

It may seem redundant to talk about what Maxi did so well on Monday because it’s nothing new for him, he’s been doing what he does best at an exceptional level in these last few games in particular. He doesn’t force shots that aren’t there, he’s gotten much better at creating space between himself and the opposing defense, whether it’s using his speed to get to the rim or using some nifty footwork to knock down a step-back three, and everything in between.

And this is all without even mentioning how important he has been to the Sixers’ defense as of late.

For the first time in his career, he had three straight games with more than 30 points. He finished the game with 30 points, eight rebounds, 10 assists, one steal and one block.

Kelly Oubre Jr.: 22 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 blocks

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Oubre’s energy and athleticism continue to provide a huge boost to the Sixers, especially the offense. His constant movement and cutting of the ball provides a reliable lifeline for Maxi to pass to. It also means giving Oubre more opportunities to capitalize on the paint, often right at the rim, rather than forcing him to settle for questionable mid-range jumpers. This strategy helped him rack up 22 points on 10-for-19 field goal shooting. Look at that beautiful plot!

In addition to his scoring speed, Oubre has started doing something else to keep the Sixers’ offense going: passing! It’s been a slowly growing trend with Oubre. He drives hard in the way that we all know is his bread and butter, but lately, he’s been more willing to shed those drives if he gets into trouble and draws the opposition’s defence. He had three assists on Monday. It may not seem like a lot, but when compared to the zero or one assists per game he’s often had to start the season, it’s a fantastic development.

Oubre had a few highlights in this matchup from his big shots to some threes and everything in between, but perhaps his biggest sequence came in the fourth when he finished at the rim via Bam Adebayo and ran into a big block on Jaime Jaquez. On the other end as the Sixers were struggling to maintain a slim lead at the end of the game. He blocked Jaquez again with just 37 seconds left. (Oh, did I mention he got five blocks tonight?)

Kyle Lowry: 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

It’s been great to have this guy on the Sixers, and tonight was a great example of what he brings to the table, even at this point in his career. He may not necessarily be at the top of the stats anymore, but he’s still huge in big moments. Down the stretch, with the Sixers fighting to hold a narrow lead over the Heat, Lowry scored a huge three-pointer and a reverse layup in the final minutes to help carry the Sixers across the finish line.

Lowry was decent throughout the rest of the game as well, as he was a constant nuisance for the Heat on defense and was active without the ball on offense to find space, especially off the perimeter where he shot 3-for-5 starting Monday. .

He finished the game with 16 points, four rebounds, one assist, two steals and a block.

Bonus points for launching himself over the scorers’ table chasing a loose ball. Some might say “hey, it’s just a regular season game in March, protect yourself instead” and I agree to some extent… but you have to love the effort and the toughness. Best of North Philly.

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Who is the Sixers Bill Ringer in the win over Miami?

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    Kelly Oubre Jr

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