The 76ers came into the game on a four-game winning streak, playing host to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Sixers came out to start the game shooting well, but their defense lacked energy. The team could not keep the Cavs out of the paint, which lead to the Cavs creating a 20 point lead on the Sixers. This was led by first-time all-star Darius Garland, who points on a show tonight posting a stat line of 26Pts, 19Ast, on 10/22FG 4/8 3PT in 43mins played.
While the Cavs were firing on every cylinder, the Sixers managed to only trail by eight going into halftime. The Sixers would adjust and proceed to beat the Cavs 125-119 and complete the comeback. Here are three takeaways from the game that contributed to this remarkable win.
Tyrese Maxey Continues to Shine for the Sixers
The leaps and bounds of progress that Tyrese Maxey continues to show on a night in and night out basis never cease to amaze me.
During this game, where Joel Embiid never quite got going, and James Harden was in foul trouble, the Sixers struggled to pull away throughout the game.
This is when Maxey would take things into his hands, proceeding to score 24 of his 33 points in the second half of the Sixer’s win. Maxey has shown major growth this season and has only gotten better since the trade for Harden. Since then, Maxey has been shooting 70% from 3PT on five attempts.
Tyrese, not being known as a great shooter coming out of college, has done nothing but excel at that area of his game, and even more so now playing alongside James Harden.
Mr. Reliable- Georges Niang
Georges Niang continues to produce in his role on this team, playing 23 mins and totaling 17pts on 5/8 shooting from the three-point line.
Georges is not the fastest, nor the most athletic, but plays with smarts and craftiness as a below-the-rim player. Before Maxey came and sealed the win for the Sixers, there was Niang!
The stretch four put on a shooting barrage in that second half, hitting four of his five threes that gave the Sixers the spark they needed as points were hard to come by during the second half. The chemistry and trust between Harden and Niang showed again as all of George’s three-pointers came from a Harden’s assist. That late-game situational trust is crucial to the team’s success.
Moving forward in the season, Niang has shown his worth to the Sixers and solidified his rotation spot going into the postseason. This game showed his worth to this team in more ways than one, giving the Sixers a consistent shooter off the bench, as well as a smart veteran, that can give the team positive minutes off the bench. This is important toward helping this team win and reach their ultimate goal of a championship.
Late Game Execution:
As great as this win was, the Cavs are a young team that are still learning how to close out games. The Sixers, against better and more experienced teams, can not wait until the second half to be engaged on defense or afford to spot teams 20 points and expect to win all the time.
Late in the fourth, the Sixers lead only by four points with only two minutes left in the game. This team showed composure, smarts, and discipline on both sides of the court while letting their “big three” close the game.
In the past, the team showed more of how much they lacked in this area more times than now. A win like this one the Sixers would lose in the past, but with some new additions and growing confidence, it’s good to see the Sixers put together a game like this. Picking up this win can only help as the team goes through this final stretch of games heading into the postseason.
Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire