PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers were able to use a big fourth quarter in order to knock off the New York Knicks on Friday mostly due to their defense. They held the Knicks to just 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting in the fourth quarter behind a big defensive effort.
They also received a big spark from Tyrese Maxey who came in off the bench and provided a big spark for this group when the time called for it. He scored 27 points on 9-for-16 shooting and he knocked down four triples on five attempts on a big night for him.
“I’ve been seeing that as long as he’s been in the league,” said new addition Jalen McDaniels. “Getting to it so I respect it. He’s a young guy doing his thing. I can’t wait to get on the court with him and go at guys with him.”
He also was helpful on the defensive end. Maxey struggled a bit defensively early, but he really locked in after halftime and his defense on Knicks star Jalen Brunson was apparent.
“Man, he was locking,” said De’Anthony Melton. “He looked like a little Tony Allen. I’m glad he was doing his stuff on the defensive end. Tyrese is gonna figure it out. He’s got such a spirit that I’m glad to see him have this type of game.”
The biggest thing, besides the defense, was Maxey’s 3-point shot returning. He shot 4-for-5 from deep and that is the type of shooting Philadelphia needs from him after his struggles in that department recently.
“Not only just offense, I thought he got into Brunson and defended for us as well so I loved how he played, didn’t force it, let it come to him,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I loved his first basket of the game. I always think when he starts out with his fingernails on the backboard, it leads to the rest of the stuff. I thought he had that in his head early to attack first and then let the shots come.”
Maxey was obviously feeling pretty good about his performance and he even joked that he is the new Melton for this group.
“I was messing with Melt I said, ‘I’m De’Anthony Melton.’” laughed Maxey. “I was in the back tipping. It was great. I know coach Doc has been talking about it the last two games about us as a team getting into the ball and just putting pressure on guys. I just want to try and go in there and cause some type of havoc and help defensively as much as I could.”
Maxey and the Sixers will now look to keep things going when they take on the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday.
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire