PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 16: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter during Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round at Wells Fargo Center on April 16, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By Dylan MacKinnon

Tyrese Maxey. Man, what a night from the Sixers’ young guard. From barely seeing the floor a year ago, to leading his team in pts to win game 1 of this series vs the Raptors. Maxey played the part of a true Super Star tonight. By the end of the 3rd quarter when he hit scored his 36th point, chants of “Maxey, Maxey, Maxey,” were echoing throughout a packed Wells Fargo Center.

Maxey did the bulk of his damage in the 3rd quarter. He scored 21 in the frame, on 7-8 shooting, and went 2-2 from deep. His explosive output put a stop to a small run by the Raptors that got a 24pt lead down to just 11. He scored 17 of those 21 in the final 5 minutes of the 3rd. Perhaps his most impressive moment was a 3pt play off a floater finished through hard contact to make it 98-82. His fantastic play had them up 19 pts heading into the final 12 minutes of the game.

He set multiple personal marks. First, he broke his record for most pts in a playoff game when he scored his 17th point. Then he set a new season-high when he scored his 36th point. And he finished with 38pts, just 1 shy of his career-high set vs the Nuggets last season. It was perhaps the most impressive Maxey has ever been, and he has looked pretty impressive before. He became the youngest Sixer to score 30+ pts in the playoffs. Additionally, he is now the third youngest player to score 38pts in the playoffs. The two do do so when younger than him being LeBron James and Magic Johnson. Pretty good company to keep.

“He has game and he works his butt off… He gets it. You put the work in and great things happen for you. Tonight’s a testament to that.”- James Harden on Tyrese Maxey after the game.

Also of note was a 26pt night from Tobias Harris. He seemed like the Harris the Sixers got last year, pulling down 6 rebounds, racking up 6 assists, and shooting 3-5 from deep. Additionally, Harden finished with 22pts and 14 assists, while shooting 5-8 from deep. Embiid had a quiet night by his standards, scoring just 19pts, but also pulling down 15 boards, and getting 4 assists. As a team, they shot 16-32 from deep, and 51.2% from the field. Oh, and they had just 3 turnovers as a team. Maxey was the star of the night, but it was a great team win overall. 29 of the Sixers’ 43 buckets came off assists.

The Raptors unfortunately suffered a major injury. Rookie Scottie Barnes went down with a foot injury, and had to be helped off the court. Initial x rays on his ankle were negative, and he will receive a MRI tomorrow.

Maxey’s big night carried the Sixers to a 20pt win, to give the Sixers a 1-0 lead in this round 1 series. They will have tomorrow off, before playing game 2 on Monday. If they can get another super star like performance out of Maxey, the Sixers chances in this series will look very good.