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Maxey’s MSG Magic keeps Philly in the playoffs

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Following the Philadelphia 76ers’ 112-106 victory in Game 5, the New York Knicks were unable to complete a playoff series victory on Tuesday.  

The Sixers came to Madison Square Garden to play the Knicks, and the team was only seconds away from securing a position in the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second year in a row. The arena was packed with celebrities. 

Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

But Tyrese Maxey scored seven points in the last twenty-five seconds of regulation to win it for Philadelphia.   

With 28 seconds remaining in regulation, the 76ers were down six points, but Maxey produced a stunning comeback that brought back memories of Reggie Miller’s eight baskets in nine seconds for Indiana at Madison Square Garden in 1995. 

Maxey Magic in full effect:

With 25 seconds left, the All-Star guard made a four-point play to trim the deficit to two. Then, in the last seconds of regulation, following Josh Hart’s free throw, he made the game-winning three from the logo to send the game into thrilling overtime.   

With less than ten seconds left, Maxey’s MSG miracle tied the game at 97 points apiece, giving the Knicks a three-point lead.  

 Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks tries to get around Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks tries to get around Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the second half at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

For the Knicks, who were considering hosting Game 1 of the second round at MSG on Saturday night, Jalen Brunson scored 40 points. Alternatively, it might be the seventh game of this seemingly concluded series.  

The Sixers pushed the series back to Philadelphia, where Game 6 will take place, after cutting the Knicks’ advantage to 3-2.   

In an extremely close series between rivals in the Atlantic Division, it was the second last-ditch effort to save what appeared to be an inevitable loss. With just 30 seconds remaining, the Knicks, behind by five points, won Game 2.

Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks heads for the net as Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks heads for the net as Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers defends during the second half at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Joel Embiid didn’t score as much as normal, considering that he entered the game averaging an NBA-high 35 points per game in the playoffs. Embiid has been sick and missed the shootaround due to a migraine.  

Before the game even began, the 30-year-old was ruthlessly jeered by the Knicks home crowd.   

After his egregious foul on Robinson during Game 3 in Philadelphia, New York’s boisterous supporters remained incensed. After Embiid committed nine turnovers in a careless performance, they had numerous opportunities to make fun of him.   

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers heads for the bench during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers heads for the bench during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

‘I think that considering that our No. 1 option was struggling, for him to say, “All right, I got to put this team on my back and go,” I just kept encouraging him, like, to take his chances, take his shots, make plays,’ Sixers coach Nick Nurse said. 

A little over an hour before the game, Embiid ambled slowly through the locker room, holding his head in his palm as he sat down for a short while before proceeding to warm up.  

But Maxey was full of energy and he carried the scoring load, dishing out nine assists and making seven 3-pointers.

Josh Hart #3 of the New York Knicks and Kyle Lowry #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers chase after the loose ball during the first half at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Josh Hart #3 of the New York Knicks and Kyle Lowry #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers chase after the loose ball during the first half at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

After Brunson scored the first five points of the overtime round, he made his final 3-pointer to put the 76ers ahead. That started a 9-0 run that Embiid finished with a three-point play at 1:40 to give the team a 106-102 lead. Brunson’s three-pointer tied the score at 106, but Kelly Oubre Jr.’s jumper with 1:02 left broke the tie, and Tobias Harris scored two free throws to seal the victory.  

The Knicks go to Philly on Thursday looking to wrap this playoff series up with a win.

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