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Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons reveal Sixers’ secret weapon vs Trae Young, Hawks

Sixers news, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons

The Philadelphia 76ers were fighting for their season on Friday night in Game 6 against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. The Sixers did an outstanding job to avoid a season-ending defeat, and as it turns out, Philly stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons relied on one particular secret weapon that led them to a key victory.

This was none other than Sixers rookie Tyrese Maxey. The 20-year-old rookie had one of the best games of his life on Friday, as he provided Philly with a strong punch off the bench. According to Embiid, the Sixers could not have won Game 6 without Maxey’s heroics:

“Tonight, a lot of credit goes to (Seth Curry), but I think without Tyrese, we don’t win that game,” Embiid said, via Justin Grasso of FanNation. “Maxey was huge tonight. He made plays, whether it’s offensively and defensively or pushing the pace, when Ben was in foul trouble. I’m really happy for him.”

Simmons echoed Embiid’s praise for Maxey. In the mind of the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, Maxey was the X-factor from Friday night:

“He was great, defensively and offensively,” said Sixers guard Ben Simmons. “He was big. He made some tough shots. That second group really was big and really kept us in the game.”

Prior to his 16-point explosion in a testy Game 6, Maxey had scored only 13 points combined through the first five games of the series. His outburst on Friday night was definitely a key factor for the Sixers, but based on how his teammates reacted to Maxey’s outstanding performance, it looks like this didn’t exactly catch them by surprise.