Multiple Sixers praise Charles Bassey for big game in win over Nuggets

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The Philadelphia 76ers were stuck in a rut as they entered the Mile High City on Thursday to take on reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. They needed a spark as they were on a 5-game losing streak and they were still missing Joel Embiid and Matisse Thybulle as well as Danny Green out there.

While the Sixers received big nights out of Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry, they received a big spark off the bench from their rookie big man to come away with a 103-89 win over the Nuggets.

Charles Bassey, who was the 53rd pick in the 2021 NBA draft, stepped in and gave the team a huge lift. He scored 12 points with seven rebounds and three blocks while being a plus-20 in 19:18 of playing time. He also played terrific defense against Jokic and he was a big catalyst in this win.

“Bassey was great,” said coach Doc Rivers. “You can see it, his IQ. He got three blocks from behind because he read the play. I think he had two or three rebounds where he caught it and instead of trying to go out and turn it over, threw it out that led to 3s, he did a lot of good things…He blocked Jokic’s shot one time so that was good. I’m happy for him.”

Maxey, who played high school basketball against Bassey in Texas, saw this coming as this was not new for him. In fact, Bassey was ranked ahead of Maxey in the Texas high school basketball rankings.

“I first met Charles when I was a freshman in high school,” Maxey recalled. “He was ranked number one player in Texas, I was the number two player in Texas. I know he can do this. I just told him when I was back there, I said, ‘Man, that’s the Charles Bassey that I know from high school’. Keep doing that, keep your confidence high, keep working, you’ll be great.”

Even though Bassey was the player ranked ahead of Maxey, the young point guard was still happy for his new teammate as he recalled their time in high school.

“I didn’t like him?” Maxey joked. “What you saw tonight is what he did in high school. Block shots, rebound, run the floor, tip dunk, just the activity that he has is remarkable and he showed up tonight.”

For Bassey, this was a big opportunity for him. With the Sixers missing Embiid and really only having one true big man in Andre Drummond, this was a chance for him to come in and make an impact. He was able to do so in a big way in this one.

“It felt good,” said Bassey. “I knew coming into the game, of course, we’re missing Jo, so I knew coming to this trip, I knew my time was going to come and it was a matter of just getting ready and just watching film with coach. Just watching Drumm, knowing what he’s doing and when my time comes, just going in there and do my job. It showed today.”

The Sixers will now move on to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday for the fourth game of this 6-game road trip.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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