‘Kid’ Tyrese Maxey, 76ers meet Mavericks

Hidden in the Philadelphia 76ers‘ loss to the undermanned Washington Wizards on Wednesday was the continued improvement of Tyrese Maxey.

He just keeps getting better.

The 21-year-old Maxey had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the Sixers’ 106-103 setback to the Wizards. It was his fourth career game with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Even more impressive was that he had no turnovers.

Maxey, who earlier this week was chosen for the Rising Stars competition for All-Star Weekend, will try to duplicate his Wednesday effort when the 76ers visit the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

The All-Star game will be Feb. 20 in Cleveland.

«The kid is putting up All-Star numbers,» teammate Georges Niang said of Maxey. «I think it’s a no-brainer for him to be on a Rising Star challenge. I mean, he’s one of the best sophomores, if not the best in the league right now. He’s doing a great job of controlling this team and doing everything we ask of him, and he’s been nothing but tremendous.»

Maxey has proved to be a stellar complement to All-Star Joel Embiid and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.9 to 1 this season, which ranks in the top 10 in the league.

«It’s pretty cool. All that means to me is that I’m out here doing my job, helping my team win,» Maxey said of traveling to All-Star Weekend. «And that’s all I really care about is trying to rack up as much wins as possible, us trying to get better every single day and build towards the playoffs.»

Embiid returned from a one-game absence to post 27 points, 14 rebounds and six assists against the Wizards, but the Sixers had their five-game winning streak snapped.

The Sixers will head to Dallas with a 14-7 record against the Western Conference.

The Mavericks will look to rebound after a disappointing 120-114 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

Luka Doncic had 40 points and 10 assists, and Reggie Bullock added 23 points and eight rebounds, but the Mavericks dropped their second game in a row, including a loss to Orlando on Sunday.

Kristaps Porzingis will miss his third straight game Friday because of a bone bruise on his right knee.

«Seeing him, he looks good,» Dallas coach Jason Kidd said of Porzingis. «His spirit is good. He’s working out, so hopefully he can get back soon.»

The Mavericks will have a much more daunting challenge against the Sixers than they did against the depleted Magic and Thunder.

«They just played harder than we did,» Kidd said after the team dropped back-to-back games for the first time since Christmas. «When it got tight there, we started to play better. We put ourselves in a position like Orlando: Someone had to make a shot – someone did. We just couldn’t get the stop on the other end.»

Doncic had a couple of chances to propel the Mavericks to victory, but he didn’t execute properly. He took all the blame post-game.

«This game is on me,» Doncic said. «Two stupid decisions by me the last two possessions. Shouldn’t happen. By far my worst defensive game this year, for sure, and it’s just on me.»

Jalen Brunson, who added 20 points for the Mavericks against the Thunder, said the team must change its mindset.

«It’s just more of us just not being mentally ready to go,» Brunson said. «Have to come out strong.»

–Field Level Media

About The Author