Maxey, 76ers, force Game 6 in thriller win

Momma, there goes that man! Tyrese Maxey! (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Tyrese Maxey turned into a walking bucket after single-handedly carrying the Philadelphia 76ers to a 112-106 Game 5 overtime victory against the New York Knicks to stay alive in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff matchup.

With the win, the 76ers refused to go home and survived the elimination game to trim their series deficit to 2-3 against the Knicks.

The 76ers already looked dead in the water after New York already established a six-point lead with only 28.9 seconds left in the game.

However, Maxey’s never-say-die attitude lifted Philadelphia out of the mud after scoring a quick four-point play when Mitchell Robinson bit in his fake from the left elbow.

After Maxey cashed in the bonus free throw that pulled the 76ers to within two points, 94-96, the Knicks had the opportunity to widen their gap but Josh Hart missed a shot from the charity stripe which gave Philadelphia the chance to equalize the game.

With only 12 seconds left in the clock, Maxey stunned the thousands of New York fans when he pulled up from the Knicks logo and attempted a deep three-point shot.

After getting past his defender when Joel Embiid gave him a good screen, Maxey then saved Philadelphia’s season when he buried the cold-blooded game-tying heave that forced overtime.

Just when the 76ers thought they already grabbed the momentum of the game, Jalen Brunson continued his hot shooting for the Knicks and put them up by five points, 97-102.

When the 76ers needed someone to step up, head coach Nick Nurse didn’t think twice but to go to his money man, which is Maxey, and he delivered in an impeccable way after draining a trey to answer Brunson’s scoring.

After a completed defensive stop in the fast break, Philadelphia finally retook the lead after Maxey found the wide-open Kelly Oubre Jr. on the other end who slammed the ball.

With only 1:40 remaining in the extension period and the 76ers clinging to a slim 103-102 advantage, Embiid finally got it going after scoring a foul-counted shot that increased their lead to four points.

Brunson’s fiery run didn’t end despite the haymakers thrown by Philadelphia as he helped the Knicks reach another deadlock, 106-all, after converting another trey.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, that Brunson three-point shot was their last made field goal in the final stretch of the overtime while the 76ers added six more points.

Maxey capped off his heroic Game 5 performance with a game-high 46-point production to go alongside nine assists and five rebounds.

The rising guard ended the night with efficient shooting and made 17 out of his 30 total attempts including an impressive 7/12 from the three-point line.

Meanwhile, Embiid, who had an off-night after getting swarmed by New York’s defense, recorded a triple-double outing of 19 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists.

Can New York close things out when they meet again with the 76ers in Philadelphia on May 3, 2024? Or will Embiid and the rest of the Philly nation force a do-or-die Game 7?

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