Sixers’ Tyrese Maxey drops career-high 51 points on Jazz after being named All-Star

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Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) reacts after scoring against the Utah Jazz during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Coming into Thursday night’s game in the midst of a four-game losing streak and the news of a lateral meniscus injury to Joel Embiid’s left knee, the Philadelphia 76ers were a team in desperate need of a win. Thanks to the return of Tyrese Maxey, the Sixers won the night in more ways than one.

Ahead of their matchup against the Jazz, it was reported that budding Sixers star Tyrese Maxey was selected as an All-Star reserve for the 2023-24 NBA season. After much speculation of his worthiness amid yet another stellar season, it was finally confirmed that, in his age 23 season, Maxey was officially an All-Star.

Not long after that announcement came through, it was reported that Maxey would also be returning to the Sixers’ lineup after missing the previous three games due to a sprained ankle. Returning in grand fashion, Maxey not only led the Sixers to victory over the Jazz by a score of 127-124, but he also set a career-high for points score, finishing the night with 51 points.

Maxey leads the Sixers to victory

It was an unreal evening from the floor for Maxey, who looked as refreshed as one could be despite not being 100 percent recovered, as he told TNT postgame. Regardless, Maxey’s performance was as smooth as silk as he just let the ball fly from wherever he felt lead.

Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward John Collins (20) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

From the jump, Maxey was electric, seemingly expanding his range further and further with each shot. Finishing the first quarter with 18 points, Maxey made a statement early on that he was more than deserving of the All-Star title he received.

Working the Jazz over from inside, out, and at the line, Maxey made it look easy at every turn. He even had Jazz guard Kris Dunn, widely known as a talented defender, spinning at times.

One last important note on Maxey’s refreshed look. Through his first 43 games this season, Maxey has averaged more minutes per game than any other player in the NBA. While the three-game break he endured was related to an ankle sprain, there certainly appeared to be an air of freshness related to the break from his extended minutes as well.

While his usage is unlikely to change especially after the latest Joel Embiid injury update, Maxey’s stamina will need to be considered, as it should be for every player, for both his sake and the team’s.

Tobias Harris helps seal the deal

While the night was rightfully focused on the success of Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris certainly deserves his flowers as he was the connective tissue that helped seal the Sixers’ success. Finishing with 28 points, five rebounds, and seven assists, Harris once again did everything the team asked of him to help end their losing streak.

Sixers
Philadelphia 76ers’ Tobias Harris (12) celebrates with Tyrese Maxey (0) after scoring against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Harris’ on-court production has been key at times for the Sixers, though consistency has also been the question. In Thursday night’s matchup however, he delivered in fine fashion. There is much uncertainty that faces Harris’ future in Philadelphia as he is in the final year of the lucrative deal he signed with Philadelphia back in the summer of 2019.

Between the impending trade deadline and the upcoming offseason, everything possibility around the future of Harris with the Sixers seems to remain on the table for now. No stranger to outside noise surrounding his presence with this team, Harris has heard his name in trade rumors and complaints about his production and contract for years.

Until the definite next step in this journey is reached, Harris will continue providing the necessary production and leadership, as he has throughout his Sixers career.