Tyrese Maxey's Star Evolution in Game 1 Win Unlocks 76ers' Full PotentialApril 17, 2022
While most of the attention on the Philadelphia 76ers' first playoff game was centered around James Harden and how he would perform, it was Tyrese Maxey who stole the show.
The second-year guard surpassed his season-high point total in the third quarter and finished with 38 points in the Sixers' 131-111 Game 1 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
The Raptors dominated the season series against the 76ers. They won three of four games between the two teams, with two of the victories coming on March 20 and April 7.
Despite Toronto's team success against Philadelphia, Maxey fared well against this defense. He shot 52.7 percent from the field (50.0 percent from three-point range) and averaged 19.8 points in four games.
Maxey took his game to a completely different level in this playoff victory. This was just his second 30-point performance in a game since March 5.
Basketball Reference @bball_ref
Players aged 21 and younger to score 35+ in a playoff game in 76ers history:<br><br>Tyrese Maxey (21 years - 163 days)<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sixers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Sixers</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/sixers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sixers</a> <a href="https://t.co/kbcFgtATKD">pic.twitter.com/kbcFgtATKD</a>
Lauren Rosen @LaurenMRosen
I've said this all year, but now that the whole country (or 2) is watching, it's worth a repeat:<br><br>What <a href="https://twitter.com/TyreseMaxey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TyreseMaxey</a> has done this season has been incredible. 21 years old, in an unprecedented new role, constantly challenged, & stayed coolheaded, confident, and kind.<br><br>He's a star.
The 76ers' other stars didn't play a perfect game. Harden was only 6-of-17 from the field, but he still put up 22 points and dished out 14 assists. One of those assists was an unbelievable pass to Maxey on a fast break for a layup midway through the third quarter to put Philadelphia ahead 88-70.
Joel Embiid had one of his worst shooting performances of the season, going 5-of-15 from the field. The MVP candidate still made an impact with 15 rebounds and four assists.
Tobias Harris very quietly had 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
Maxey's ability to lift the Sixers up on his own bodes very well for them in these playoffs. He's been a budding star all season. Game 1 was his coming-out party as a legitimate star on the national stage.
The 76ers will look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Raptors when these two teams play Game 2 on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET.