HomeBasketball TodayMaxey Magic Strikes: Tyrese Maxey Lights Up With Career-Best 51-Point Comeback!

Maxey Magic Strikes: Tyrese Maxey Lights Up With Career-Best 51-Point Comeback!

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Tyrese Maxey returned from injury and notched a new career-high in the 76ers’ win over the Jazz.

The Philadelphia 76ers (30-17) wrapped up a long, dreadful road trip against the Utah Jazz (24-26). The Sixers played a very good game and came out victorious in a fantastic game, winning 127-124 to snap a four-game losing streak.

Let’s break down the finale of this 76ers road trip.

76ers player notes:

Tyrese Maxey: 51 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 17-27 FG shooting

It may have been overshadowed by other, sadder news but Maxey was deservedly named a first-time All-Star. The leap is finally here and it has been spectacular.

In his first game back from a three-game absence, Maxey went OFF. He made his first six threes, many of which were self-created well beyond the arc, and darted ahead past his defenders on the way to a career-high for points in a half. With unreal hand-eye coordination and hang time, he tallied buckets up close. When the fast break opened, he put that blazing speed to good use.

The Sixers’ spirits needed to be uplifted so badly and Maxey did it in the very best way. What an absolutely marvelous performance.

Tobias Harris: 28 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 13-21 FG shooting

Harris was hooping, supplying huge important secondary scoring. The 76ers had him set up in the post in Utah’s zone and he went to work with ample space. Some of his off-ball defense was atrocious but he also stepped up by playing center for a key stretch in the fourth quarter on top of hitting some tough shots.

Jazz player notes:

Lauri Markkanen: 28 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 10-15 FG shooting

Markkanen was very good the last time he faced the 76ers. The Jazz operated like a well-oiled machine in this one, spreading the love around to everyone for most of the game. But he came alive in the fourth quarter, draining shots from all over the floor to keep pace with Maxey.

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Game recap:

1st half

This road trip, man. On top of Philly losing all four of the games heading into this one, Joel Embiid injured his left meniscus and will miss some more time. The way his injury was handled earned the team a $75,000 fine and brought a wave of deplorable narratives around what is now undoubtedly a serious injury. Numerous others suffered injuries, including Nico Batum and Marcus Morris Sr., who joined Embiid, De’Anthony Melton and Robert Covington on the inactive list. The best thing about this road trip is that it’s finally ending.

Danuel House Jr. got the start again. Maxey drained his first shot of the night, a triple off the right wing that Tobias Harris assisted on the fast break. He then side-stepped into a jumper in the paint. The newly minted All-Star scored the first 10 points for Philly, shooting with confidence and charging into the paint. Less than halfway through the opening quarter, he had 16 points and had made four threes in as many tries, most of which were well behind the arc.

While Maxey went scorched earth in his first (shortened) stint and Harris got up to 10 points early, the Jazz had an easy time cracking the 76ers’ defensive code. A well-rounded attack allowed them to keep pace with the two-headed monster Philly had roaring. John Collins thrived at the hoop in the high-pace contest as Collin Sexton fed him for lobs and assisted Markkanen on a pair of early buckets.

The Sixers switched to a 2-3 zone to end the first quarter and start the second. Maxey got right back to work with a swooping right-handed layup and another deep triple…and then another. Meanwhile, Walker Kessler demonstrated his stellar rim protection on the other Philly players. He towered over them on the other end, too, with points down low. Utah lived lavishly in the paint.

Harris made a killing in the paint, too. Alongside the Maxey heater, he did a very nice job finding space in the middle of the paint to pull short jumpers while also sprinkling in some aggressive downhill takes. The Sixers went on an 11-0 run to give themselves a big cushion heading into the half. It was strictly buckets for Maxey on his way to a career-best half.

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At the break, the 76ers led 71-61.

2nd half

The Jazz ripped the 76ers defense to shreds to start the half, scoring nine points in an instant. Maxey was moved off the ball for a few plays with the lone play that got Philly a bucket in the first two minutes was a Maxey floater. Philly’s defense provided no resistance as Utah got it back to a one-possession game in a handful of minutes. Missing Embiid, Batum, Melton and Covington would clearly leave them with a need for defense but the guys who were active seemed to have no clue.

While running the “Maxey save us” offense might have overloaded him in his first game back, and thus using him away from the ball a little more frequently was understandable, it was UGLY for the 76ers when he failed to get touches for the majority of possessions. They even botched an open fast break because Mo Bamba charged into Collins’ chest, picking up a foul. Jordan Clarkson switched hands mid-air and drained a floater to take the lead, though Harris came right back with a response.

The 76ers went small with Furkan Korkmaz and Jaden Springer as the forwards next to Maxey, Patrick Beverley and Paul Reed. Maxey crossed the 40-point threshold with a circus-shot layup in transition as Springer locked Clarkson up on defense. Philly just started to find some fitting at the end of the third quarter before Springer was baited into fouling Kelly Olynyk on a three-point attempt. The game was knotted at 93 heading into the fourth quarter.

Korkmaz turned a grenade pass from Harris into a triple — no-dip style like Batum — and then threw down a reverse dunk on a breakaway. That dunk was ignited by a Reed poke-away steal. More great defense from Springer on Clarkson set up a fast break that Maxey finished with a two-handed jam. The 76ers went with Harris at the five and went a little bigger with Kelly Oubre Jr. instead of PatBev.

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The lack of size was music to Markkanen’s ears as he shot over the defense with ease. Nick Nurse responded with Bamba, who was in the midst of maybe the worst performance of the team. He came up big with a huge blocked floater that ignited a fast break. Utah got some big breaks with defensive miscues from Philly that allowed them to stay within striking distance. Markkanen tied the game up with three minutes left and Collin Sexton gave Utah the lead shortly thereafter. The final game in this Sixers road trip was coming in for quite the landing.

Maxey tied it back up with another deep pull-up three. The 76ers stupidly started the home stretch with a sequence where he didn’t touch the ball. Another one ensued a few possessions later but Beverley came through by nailing an open triple created by Harris. Oubre almost put the finishing touches on it on a play where Collins was called for a foul on his dunk attempt…but it was overturned.

With a one-point game and 5.8 seconds left, Harris hit a pair of foul shots. The Jazz had a chance to run a play. Harris fouled Clarkson with Utah in the bonus and he hit both. Philly called timeout. The ball was inbounded safely to Maxey, who hit both for a new career-high. He then fouled Clarkson on the floor to avoid a three-point attempt. Clarkson missed the first attempt and then failed to bounce it off the rim for a miracle play. The Sixers won a thriller that they REALLY needed.

Random tidbits:

  • No role player has a better whistle than House. After spending years alongside James Harden and Embiid, he seems to have some familiarity with the art of drawing a foul on a drive.

The 76ers will finally return home and face the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.

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