The 76ers were in the driver's seat at halftime. They held the Nets to 19 points in the second quarter and took an 11-point lead into the half.
Unfortunately for the Sixers, the Nets outscored Philly 35-18 in the third quarter and took a 6-point lead into the final period.
Even further misfortune his Philadelphia as former MVP guard James Harden was ejected in the second half, leaving the bulk of the scoring load to Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey and most of the ball handling responsibility to Maxey.
The 22-year-old that may seek a max-value contract extension responded. Maxey ended the game with a team-high 25 points and shot 10-for-17 from the field and 5-for-8 from deep. He also chipped in three assists and three rebounds while having just one turnover.
Maxey made some franchise history in the process while helping Philly win 102-97.
Tyrese Maxey had 25-pts and 5 3-pointers to lead the 76ers to the tight victory.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 21, 2023
He now has the most games with 5 3-pointers in 76ers playoff history.
Playoff Games with 5 3-pointers
Tyrese Maxey 5
J.J. Redick 4
Seth Curry 4 pic.twitter.com/ye94hZJXqP
Maxey’s burst came when Philadelphia needed scoring the most. He scored 10 straight points for the 76ers from 3:08 left in the 4th quarter to 1:39 left, and that took the Sixers from trailing by 3 to up 3 in a pivotal moment in the game.
This isn’t the first time, even in the playoffs, that Maxey has taken over a game late, and his improvements have carried over into the regular season as well. Maxey averaged a career-high 20.3 points per game this season and shot 48.1% from the field.
Those paved the way for the Sixers to be the third seed in the Eastern Conference, and now up 3-0 in the first round, they seem primed to advance and likely take on their bitter rivals, the Boston Celtics.
For that and throughout the rest of the playoffs, the Sixers will need this confident Maxey to be on display.
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