Tyrese Maxey makes team history during shorthanded Sixers loss

BATON ROUGE, LA – FEBRUARY 18: Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyrese Maxey (3) shoots the ball during a game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the LSU Tigers at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on February 18, 2020. (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire)

Despite the loss, Tyrese Maxey stole the show against Denver.

It wasn’t a pretty loss, but it was ultimately a fun one. Due to the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the Sixers were left with just seven active players during today’s matchup against Denver. It was a game that was always set to end up as a loss, but it gave Doc Rivers and company a unique opportunity to see some of the team’s younger players get some extended playing time.

Philly fell by a score of 115-103 when it was all said and done, but the main storyline during today’s afternoon game was that of Tyrese Maxey. The first-round rookie dropped a career-high 39 points in the loss, routinely displaying a sense of offensive ability that had him looking like an All-Star at times.

Maxey played 44 minutes, and was pretty much tasked with exclusively running the Sixers’ offense whenever he was on the court. He finished the game an impressive 18-33 from the field, logging three triples, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Maxey was especially impressive in his ability to navigate the middle of the court, routinely dropping in high soaring floaters and pull-up jumpers.

According to Reuben Frank of NBCS Philadelphia, Maxey became the youngest player in Sixers team history to score both 30 points and 35 points in a single game. Maxey also became just the 11th player in NBA history to log 35 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists prior to their 21st birthday. Impressive stuff from the former Kentucky guard.

Outside of Matey’s brilliance, the Sixers also saw some promising action from a handful of their other young players. Isaiah Joe knocked down three threes, Paul Reed (aka Bball Paul) was a team-high +13 coming off the bench, and backup center Tony Bradley recorded 15 rebounds to go with his 11 points.

Ultimately speaking, the Nuggets cruised to a victory in this one. Jamal Murray barely had to shoot, and Nikola Jokic looked like he was sleepwalking through a majority of the affair. However, final result aside for the moment, seeing Maxey explode onto the national scene with a career game is a fairly fantastic result from today’s COVID-stricken loss.

Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire