Tyrese Maxey stats vs. Knicks: 76ers star’s fourth-quarter heroics in Game 5 keep Philadelphia’s season alive

The Knicks were 28.2 seconds away from advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals, holding a six-point lead against the 76ers in an elimination Game 5.

Then Tyrese Maxey happened.

Philadelphia’s season seemed all but over. But Maxey, 23, pulled off some heroics that will not be soon forgotten by Sixers fans.

In front of a rocking Madison Square Garden crowd already celebrating a series win, the All-Star guard pulled the 76ers back with the jaws of life after a pair of miraculous 3-pointers to force overtime.

If not for Maxey, Philadelphia would be heading into the offseason with a first-round exit. Instead, the team lives to fight another day — with a chance to force a Game 7 if it can pull off a home win in Thursday’s Game 6.

Here’s how it went down on the back of Maxey.

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Tyrese Maxey’s fourth-quarter heroics keeps 76ers season alive

How do you overcome a two-possession deficit with just more than one shot clock’s worth of time remaining? A miraculous and-one 3-pointer, a missed free throw, and, of course, a logo 3 to send the game into overtime.

The Knicks had the series win in their grasp after Deuce McBride buried a clutch midrange jumper to give New York a six-point lead with 28.2 seconds to go.

Maxey clearly wasn’t interested in an early playoff exit, though, responding quickly with an and-one lead to cut the 76ers’ deficit to two.

Philadelphia intentionally fouled and Josh Hart only hit one of two free throws, giving the Sixers a chance to tie the game. Maxey calmly brought the ball over the timeline with 15 seconds remaining and got what he believed to be the best open look he could get — a 3-pointer from 34 feet out, just on the edge of the Knicks’ logo at center court.

“Maxey fires… HE’S GOT IT!” Kevin Harlan shouted on the call.

The shot gave Maxey 41 points on the night to send the game into overtime after Nic Batum shut down Jalen Brunson’s game-winning attempt on the ensuing possession. 

In a fourth quarter where superstar center Joel Embiid was rendered useless — scoring two points on four shots with four turnovers — it was Maxey who stepped up with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field with four 3-pointers.

The newly crowned Most Improved Player of the Year was Philadelphia’s heartbeat, the same way he was when Embiid was out for the latter half of the season with a knee injury.

This was nothing new for Maxey, who has consistently shown up in big moments for the 76ers. The 23-year-old scored a team-high five points in overtime as Philadelphia came away with a 112-106 victory.

Maxey finished with a jaw-dropping 46 points and nine assists with seven 3-pointers — two of which kept the Sixers’ season alive for another day.

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Tyrese Maxey contract

For a moment, it looked like the 76ers were headed to an offseason where Maxey is set to get paid.

At the start of the 2023-24 season, Maxey and Philadelphia didn’t come to terms on a contract extension for their franchise point guard. The decision to hold off until after this season benefits the 76ers’ cap sheet going into the 2024 offseason — keeping Maxey’s cap hit at just $13 million from his rookie deal by exercising his team option.

That allowed Philadelphia to have some financial flexibility when it comes to spending this offseason. And Maxey will still get his money.

After becoming a first-time All-Star, Maxey is set to sign a maximum contract that is worth 25 percent of the salary cap. His deal should be worth roughly five years, $247.1 million, according to Spotrac’s Keith Smith.

With the breakout season Maxey is having, he’s worth every penny.

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