Former Kentucky standout Tyrese Maxey made history tonight in Philadelphia. Making his playoff starting debut Saturday evening for the 76ers, the standout guard finished with 38 points on 14-21 shooting and 5-8 from three in a 131-111 win over Toronto.
The second-year guard scored 21 points on 7-8 shooting in the third quarter alone to help solidify the victory.
Just 21 years old, Maxey became the youngest 76er to drop 35-plus points in the playoffs. The only players in NBA history younger than Maxey to score at least 38 points in a playoff game? LeBron James and Magic Johnson. That’s it. That’s the list.
To make things even more interesting, the former Wildcat is now the first player age 21 years or younger to score 38-plus points on at least 66% shooting in an NBA playoff game.
“Honestly, I just went out there and tried my best to help my team,” Maxey said after the win. “That’s what I do every night.”
“From being up and down and not really having consistent minutes last year in the postseason to starting and having a huge role on a championship-contending team, he just was calm out there,” 76ers star James Harden said of Maxey after the game. “He took his shots when they were open, he took his attacks when they were available, and he just made the play, man, which he does. Since I’ve been here, I saw that. Tonight was no different. He just took his shots and he was ultra-confident. That’s what we’ll need going forward.”
“He just doesn’t play with anxiety,” Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers added. “That’s why you love him. There are certain players like that. There’s not a lot that ruffles him. … He was great.”
Maxey is averaging 17.5 points per game (48.5% FG, 42.7% 3PT) to go with 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest in year two. Now, he’s a key piece of a championship contender in the playoffs.