By Dylan MacKinnon
The Sixers had no Joel Embiid. Had no James Harden. They were playing the top seed in the eastern conference. But none of that mattered. A 28pt night by Tyrese Maxey, including 13 in the final 6 minutes, carried them to a 113-106 win. It was a night when a lot of players stepped up. But none more than Maxey. He even threw in a late block to keep it a 6pt lead late in the game. Maxey’s heroics was certainly the story of the night.
The first quarter went better than many would have thought. Maxey kept the Sixers in it with some impressive play including 8pts. And Shake Milton off the bench stepped up as well. He had 7pts, 3rebs, 1ast, and a block in 6 minutes. They trailed by 6 but kept it close and people who needed to step up did. Even Furkan Korkmaz got involved with a dunk. And while Milsap failed to score, he played some impressive defense.
And in the second quarter, the short-handed Sixers kept playing well. Lately, the Sixers had struggled to get points from bench players. But at half Korkmaz had 10pts, Georges Niang had 15, Danny Green had 6, and Milton had 9. Korkmaz had barely seen the court since the Harden trade. But he was nailing 3pters and throwing down driving dunks. For at least the first half, the reserves were stepping up.
And the Sixers held onto that lead through the third quarter. It was 80-78 heading into the final frame. Maxey stepped up the scoring in the third, and by the end had 15. Korkmaz and Niang both had 13 after 3. Milton had 12.
And the good vibes continued into the 4th quarter. Milton opened the quarter on a scoring flurry. But it was Maxey’s heroics that sealed the win. He scored 13 pts in the final 6 minutes. And then after a bad Sixers’ turnover that had a chance to let the Heat back into the game, he came up with a big block. Here is a collection of some of his best moments at the end of the game.
The Call, or in this case Calls, of the night are courtesy of some "Maximum Effort" by one Tyrese Maxey. 13 pts in the final 6 minutes, and a block to seal the @sixers win. Here is a small collection of some of his late game heroics, as called by @McGinnisThomas . pic.twitter.com/0LfmxUyuTP— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) March 22, 2022
Chants of “Maxey, Maxey, Maxey,” were ringing down from the packed crowd by games end.
The win improves them to 44-27. They are now tied with the Bucks for the 2 seed, and 2.5 games back of the Heat for the 1 seed. This ends the season series vs the Heat in a 2-2 tie. Next up for the Sixers is a 3 game west coast road trip. They will visit the Lakers, the Clippers, and the Suns. They don’t return home until next Tuesday when they will play the Bucks.