The Philadelphia 76ers eliminated the Toronto Raptors from the 2022 NBA playoffs with a 132-97 win in Game 6 on Thursday at Scotiabank Arena to reach the second round for the second straight season.
It was an impressive performance from second-year guard Tyrese Maxey, who finished with 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor and 5-of-12 shooting from deep in addition to three rebounds and eight assists.
And while James Harden had his best performance of the postseason, finishing with 22 points, six rebounds and 15 assists, it was Maxey who caught the attention of social media, with some even calling for the 2020 first-round pick to get a significant contract offer from the Sixers.
Maxey was even impressive before Game 6, averaging 20.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists through the first five games of the series. It was a continuation of what has been a stellar sophomore season for the Kentucky product.
The 21-year-old will only continued to be relied upon in a tough second-round series against the Miami Heat. However, Harden will also need to find some consistency moving into Round 2.
Entering Game 6, the veteran had been criticized heavily for not reaching expectations. Through the first five games, he averaged 18.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 9.2 assists while shooting 37.3 percent from the floor and 37.9 percent from deep.
For comparison, Harden's playoff averages before he joined the Sixers were 23.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while shooting 42.8 percent from the floor and 33.2 percent from deep.