Tyrese Maxey achieved a career milestone, netting a remarkable 50 points, while Joel Embiid contributed 37 points, propelling the Philadelphia 76ers to their eighth consecutive victory, securing a 137-126 win against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.
Maxey displayed an impressive 20 for 32 accuracy from the field, along with seven rebounds, five assists, and three blocks in the first of two consecutive games between the teams in Philadelphia. This performance exceeded his previous high of 44 points against Toronto on October 28, 2022.
Maxey’s final basket, a 32-foot step-back 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining, was orchestrated by Embiid, who has affectionately labeled Maxey as “The Franchise” in previous interviews. Maxey expressed his gratitude for his teammates, coaches, and the fans, highlighting their support. “Joel wanted me to achieve the 50 more than even I did,” Maxey shared. “When he passed me the ball, he said, ‘You are going to shoot this basketball.’ I appreciate my teammates, coaches, and the fans. It was an incredible night, and our victory mattered most.”
Embiid secured 13 rebounds in a 33-minute play. The 76ers are experiencing their best start in nine games since their outstanding 10-0 launch in the 2000-01 season, which led them to the NBA Finals.
“We’re playing as a cohesive unit, trusting each other,” remarked Embiid. “Although it might seem like we didn’t focus on defense tonight, Indiana’s speed is remarkable; they play at such an incredible pace. They’re bound to score a lot, but we competed. We had a bit of a lapse, but Tyrese stepped up to close it out for us.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. was absent from the Philadelphia lineup following a hit-and-run incident that resulted in a rib injury on a Center City Philadelphia street Saturday night. Post-game, as they couldn’t reach Oubre on FaceTime, his teammates sent him a video of the locker room celebration.
“Today’s game, I’m certain Tyrese had it on his mind, and we were all thinking about it,” Embiid expressed. “We want him to take his time, recover, and understand that we stand by him. He’s a significant part of our team. We missed him tonight, but he should focus on his recovery.”
Tyrese Haliburton led the charge for Indiana with 25 points, closely followed by Myles Turner with 22. The Pacers were on a three-game winning streak.
“This is one of the top two or three teams in the entire league, and we’re fully aware of that,” commented Pacers coach Rick Carlisle. “There are certain areas we can improve on, and we’ll address those on Tuesday. We need to assess, be candid about our shortcomings, and make those necessary adjustments.”
Despite trailing by 19 points in the first half, Indiana secured their first lead at 105-104 early in the fourth quarter, courtesy of Aaron Nesmith’s jumper in the paint. The 76ers then surged ahead with an 18-6 run, culminating in Maxey’s putback of Patrick Beverley’s missed shot.
“There were moments where they gained momentum, and we struggled to contain them,” noted 76ers coach Nick Nurse. “However, we really found our rhythm in the fourth quarter.”
Maxey raised his average to 28.6 points in his new role as the team’s primary playmaker following the trade of James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I’d been struggling with those open threes and kept expressing to my uncle that I couldn’t keep missing them,” Maxey explained. “Tonight, everything just clicked.”