Maxey, 76ers outmatch Raptors to claim early series advantage

Posted: 16/04/2022 in NBA
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Tyrese Maxey led all scorers with 38 points as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Toronto Raptors 131-111 on Saturday to snatch a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-seven series.

Maxey’s 38 points are a playoff career high, eclipsing his 16-point performance against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of the 2021 Eastern Conference semifinals. He scored 21 of his 38 points in the third quarter alone.

“It was pretty spectacular, really,” teammate Tobias Harris said of Maxey’s offensive outburst, courtesy of Lauren Rosen of Sixers.com. “That third quarter, the shots he was making … it was all coming together. Hats off to him, because he played a heck of a game tonight.”

Harris added 26 points, six rebounds, and six assists for the 76ers, while star guard James Harden registered 22 points and 14 dimes. MVP candidate and center Joel Embiid had 19 points, 15 rebounds, and four assists.

Pascal Siakam scored a team-high 24 points for Toronto on 9-of-18 shooting to go with seven assists, three rebounds, and three blocks in 40 minutes.

“I’m not surprised they were highly motivated and ready to go,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said about Philadelphia, according to TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. The Sixers never trailed after taking a 7-5 lead in the first quarter. “I think there’s a lot of expectations on them.

“They were going to try to bully us right off the floor and deliver a blow to see if we would go away. Now we’re gonna find out if we will or not.”

How the Raptors respond after dropping the series opener on the road may not be their most significant concern from the defeat, however. Star rookie Scottie Barnes suffered a sprained ankle and left for good with 9:06 remaining in the game after Embiid inadvertently stepped on the forward’s foot. X-rays returned negative, but Barnes is set to undergo further imaging and his status for Game 2 on Monday is still unknown.

Toronto also lost forward Thaddeus Young, who departed the contest with 6:27 remaining in the second quarter with a sprained thumb.

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