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Tyrese Maxey Lauded for Saving 76ers’ Season in Joel Embiid’s Return vs. Heat

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers avoided going down 3-0 in their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup against the Miami Heat with a 99-79 win on Friday at the Wells Fargo Center, and it was largely thanks to 21-year-old point guard Tyrese Maxey.

The Sixers led by double digits about midway through the third quarter, but the Heat managed to close the gap to face just a three-point deficit heading into the fourth. In the final frame, Maxey made his presence felt.

After scoring just seven points through the first three quarters, Maxey went off for 14 points in the fourth on 5-of-5 shooting with four triples. His energy and youthful enthusiasm clearly sparked the Sixers as they closed out the game.

Fans online couldn’t help but to heap praise on Maxey for saving Philadelphia from facing the possibility of a sweep.

Kofie @Kofie

Give Maxey the Most Improved player award

Maxey’s 21 points tied with Danny Green for a team high. Sixers star center Joel Embiid had 18 points and 11 rebounds in his first game back from a concussion and facial injuries. James Harden had another quiet performance with 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and seven turnovers.

In his second season out of Kentucky, Maxey emerged as a key player for the Sixers amid Ben Simmons’ absence prior to getting traded in a package for Harden. Maxey made a jump from averaging 8.0 points as a rookie to 17.5 points this year while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from three-point range. He’s now averaging 24.7 points in the conference semifinals.

It feels like Philadelphia still has another step to take if it hopes to get past the top-seeded Heat. But Friday’s win was a step in the right direction, and it’s clear that the Sixers need Maxey to bring it every night if they hope to pull off the upset.

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