Doc Rivers discusses offensive struggles of Tyrese Maxey, James Harden

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PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high in their first-round series with the Toronto Raptors, leading 3-0 thanks to some big offensive games from Tyrese Maxey and James Harden.

In Game 1, Maxey had 38 points. Harden had 22 points and 14 assists while knocking down four 3. In Game 2, Maxey had 23 points as well as nine rebounds and eight assists, and Harden had 14 and six assists.

Harden had 19 and 10 in Game 3, scored 22 on 5-for-17 shooting in Game 4 and had 15 on 4-for-11 shooting in Game 5.

Maxey had 19 in Game 3, 11 in Game 4 and 12 in Game 5.

The Raptors have found a way to corral both of them due to their size and their length out on the perimeter.

“Give Toronto credit,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I thought they defended both guys pretty well. We gotta get James going downhill and into more actions that he likes and more comfortable. I just keep saying with Tyrese, we gotta get the ball in his hands more. We just do. I said it all game, I thought in the third quarter we grabbed a rebound and we finally threw it to him in transition, he got down the floor. He’s just not getting the ball in transition enough and that’s on us. We have to do it.”

Maxey has been struggling to get into a groove since Game 2 as the Raptors started shading defenders toward him. The return of Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in Game 4 has been a big help for Toronto. He has used his size and length to bother Maxey.

“I think because they are so like-sized matchups out there and they are like-sized guys on their team, they are switching a lot so you’ve just got play with a little more pace and get into our stuff a little better,” said Maxey. “We gotta get stops. When we get stops, we gotta run, push the pace, and execute the game plan.”

It also did not help that Harden had five turnovers in Game 5. The Raptors thrive on forcing turnovers and scoring off those plays. That has to be a focus heading into Game 6 on Thursday.

“There’s gonna be nights we don’t shoot the basketball well, but we gotta do everything else in a sense of not turning the ball over, rebound the basketball very well,” said Harden. “I don’t think we did that from the beginning of the game, didn’t make as many shots as we needed to, but one thing about this team, you can’t turn the ball over, and you can’t give them second opportunities.”

Philadelphia look to finally close out the Raptors on the road in Game 6 on Thursday.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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