No Joel Embiid, no problem. This was exactly the case for the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night as Tyrese Maxey led the charge for the Sixers in a scorching-hot first-half performance against the Toronto Raptors.
Maxey literally couldn’t miss in the opening half, going 10-of-10 from the field and a perfect 7-of-7 from beyond the arc. The Sixers star’s pristine shooting had him entering Kyrie Irving and Yao Ming territory with his perfect first half (h/t ESPN Stats & Info on Twitter):
Tyrese Maxey has tied Kyrie Irving (2020) and Yao Ming (2008) for the most points in a half on 100% shooting by a player in the play-by-play era (since 1996-97).
Maxey also joined Allen Iverson and Joel Embiid as the only three players in Sixers franchise history to have scored at least 27 points in a single half.
Embiid was missing on Friday night due to a knee injury and Maxey was aware that he had to step up in lieu of their superstar big man. Maxey knew what he needed to do, and he responded with a mind-blowing first-half performance. Thanks to his heroics, Philly entered the break with a 17-point lead.
The Sixers need a win here after going 1-4 in their first five games of the season. They’re up against a formidable foe in the Toronto Raptors, who like the Sixers, are also hoping to emerge as a real threat in the Eastern Conference.
After Friday’s bout, it’s a quick turnaround for the Sixers, who get to face off against the Chicago Bulls on a second night of a back-to-back set on Saturday.