By Dylan MacKinnon
Tonight’s game was not about Joel Embiid. It was not about James Harden. They both played well. But Tyrese Maxey was the Star of the night. Maxey shined in a win vs Cleveland. He finished with an impressive 33 pts.
The game started out ugly. Cavs lead by as much as 21. And they were shooting over 75% late into the first quarter. The points were coming from all around for the Cavaliers. Kevin Love, Darius Garland, Cedi Osman, and Jarrett Allen were all lights out. Sixers were lucky to be down only 8 going into the locker room at halftime.
It was late in the 3rd quarter that the Sixers finally came to life. Maxey in particular had some strong play, dropping 14 in the quarter. They even got out to a 4pt lead at one point after a Harden 3pter lead to a flagrant foul, and assist to a Niang floater. But they still ended up trailing by 2 at the end of the frame. Still, it was a strong quarter by them that reinjected energy into the Wells Fargo crowd. One problem however was Thybulle picking up his 5th foul.
And Maxey kept scoring in the 4th quarter. Whether it was launching threes, getting transition dunks, or driving past the Cavs defense, no one was stopping Maxey in the second half. At one point he scored 8 in a row after two straight 3’s, followed by a Harden 3 leading to a transition dunk. Here is some of the sound from his incredible run, as called by Tom McGinnis.
Tonight's play of the night was actually several plays. Maxey shined very bright tonight in the @sixers win, and here is a small collection of his biggest moments in his 33pt performance, as called by @McGinnisThomas pic.twitter.com/UVUB0kSi5a— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) March 5, 2022
Maxey shined brightest when Sixers were at their lowest. On a team with two super stars, it was he who took the reins and dragged them back into the game. He is a star in the making right before our eyes.
“The more aggressive Maxey is… the better we are. He’s a fearless kid. He’s playing great.” - Doc Rivers on @NBCSPhilly now. pic.twitter.com/urYz4lrApg— Amy Fadool Kane (@amyfadoolNBCS) March 5, 2022
The win makes them 39-23, and keeps them in the 2 seed. They take on the Heat tomorrow night, before coming home again to play the Bulls on Monday, and then the Nets on Thursday. This makes them 4-0 with Harden in the Starting Lineup. And now after beating a Cavs team right in the mix in the east, it will be hard to say “they haven’t beaten anyone.”
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