The Philadelphia 76ers have improved to 4-0 in the James Harden era. While Harden’s 25 points and 11 assists will grab headlines and Joel Embiid’s 22 points and nine rebounds solidify his top spot in the MVP conversation, Tyrese Maxey was the star in the Sixers’ come from behind 125-119 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night.
The second-year guard ran roughshod over the Cavaliers’ defense in the second half, scoring 14 points in the third quarter to erase Cleveland’s early 21-point lead late.
Maxey officially took over the game in the final quarter, hitting a huge three-pointer to give the Sixers a one-point lead followed by a second to extend the lead to 110-106 that had Sixers Nation blowing the roof off the arena.
The Kentucky product finished the night with 33 points on 10-15 shooting while hitting 5-6 shots from beyond the arc. Despite the new “Big 3” talk in Philadelphia, Maxey doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t think we look at it as Big 3, Big 2,” Maxey said per ESPN. “I think we look at it as one unit.”
His huge game was not lost on The Beard, who was in foul trouble early in the first half. Afterward, he sent out a tweet shining the light on his young teammate.
when your lil bro finally beat you in 21 😂 pic.twitter.com/iF8MjcWUao— James Harden (@JHarden13) March 5, 2022
Maxey, Harden, and the Sixers do not have long to celebrate their win due to an impending showdown Saturday night against the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat in South Beach.