Philadelphia – In the days leading up to the start of the first-round series between the 76ers and the Toronto Raptors, the focus was on. James Horton Toronto’s long, shifting defense will be against.
However, on Saturday night at Game 1, another 76ers guard who stole the show.
Tires MaxiVin’s 38 points, including a 21-point explosion in the third quarter, helped Philadelphia win 131-111 ahead of a crowd of 20,610 at the Wells Fargo Center. It was a recent stressful reminder of how far Maxey has come in his second season.
“His speed is a factor,” said 76ers coach Doug Rivers. “We know we have to use him constantly in space. Some nights, maybe he’s going to drive past. Tonight, he’s going to drive to the basket and make shots.”
Maxie did a lot that Saturday night, going 14-to-21 from the field, including 5-to-8 from the 3-point range. Although Maxie’s pace seemed like a new player last year, it was his improved jump shot that opened his game. He switched from a low-level, 30% 3-point shooter to a 42% shooter in 4 in 3 3-point attempts per game.
On Saturday night, Maxey revealed all aspects of his game, dropping edge shots, tearing up Toronto’s defense and going to the edge to the foul line, where he went 6-for-7.
The Sixers generally play slower than their opponents, but as Philadelphia made a concerted effort to get out, Maxie helped Saturday their transition game. There is no better example than Horton hitting a striking maxi for a lap in the third quarter.
“He runs, and you have to reward him,” Horton said. “He’s a great finisher. He’s showing the right game. So I’ll try to keep him going.”
Maxi’s performance for Philadelphia in the opening game of the series was one of many exaggerations. First Horton did not have the kind of 76 players he would like to see in paint, going 2-for-10 in 2-point shots, but he finished with 22 more points. Most of it was thanks to his signature step-back 3-pointers, and he finished 4-to-7 from the 3-point range. Horton had only five rebounds and 14 assists per turnover.
Joel Empide, Meanwhile, struggled to hit shots and went 5-for-15, but he finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds, including a physical balance inside, four attack boards. He had four aids, and no turnover.
“I mean, it really starts with me,” Embide said. “I’m not disappointed. I called the doubles and triple teams they sent me all night. I’ll try to create the right game, which will give us the victory. I said. Having played against them for so long. , Especially for the defense, I think I’m going to have to do the right plays over and over again, I thought I was fine tonight. “
Tobias Harris, Meanwhile, had 26 points to go with six rebounds and six assists in a 9-for-14 shooting, and Philadelphia as a team changed several advantages for Toronto to enter the series. Compared to seven turnovers for the Raptors, Philadelphia had only four turnovers as a team and were on the edge of 10-7 on offensive rebounds – two areas that the Raptors were expected to control.
“For some guys this is a great game,” Horton said. “Then, as for the team, the things we talked about last week, getting basketball back, giving them opportunities without turning basketball, I think we did it better tonight.”
When to be the starting point guard for the team after taking charge of training camp Ben Simmons He did not come after the trade request, and after Simmons was sent to Brooklyn next to Horton without difficulty, he showed again on Saturday how crucial he had become to Philadelphia’s title confidence.
“Tyrus is awesome,” Harris said. “He has sports and he works his butt off.
“I mean, he gets it. You did the job. He understands that big things are going to happen to you tonight. You know, tonight is a testament to that.”
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”