The Philadelphia 76ers had to play a basketball game on Saturday while missing a ton of players on the roster due to the global pandemic and various injuries so they were down to only seven players against the Denver Nuggets. That then forced the Sixers to run the offense through rookie Tyrese Maxey.
The 21st pick in the 2020 NBA draft responded in a big way with 39 points, seven rebounds, and six assists with two steals as the Sixers fell 115-103 in the process. Maxey is the first rookie to put up that stat line as a rookie since Allen Iverson in 1997.
“It’s bittersweet,” said Maxey after the game. “We didn’t win and that’s always the ultimate goal. That’s what I went out there to try to do and I try to have my team do whatever it took to try to win the basketball game. We fell short, but like I said, It’s bittersweet, it’s cool. You’re not going to really think about that much. It’s over and I’m looking forward to the next game, try to go out there to Atlanta and get a W.
Maxey also joins Iverson as the only other player in franchise history with at least 39 PTS / 7 REB / 6 AST / 2 STL in a single game as a rookie. Iverson hit those splits in the 4/14/97 game against Washington as well (40 PTS / 8 REB / 9 AST / 2 STL). https://t.co/vpgZ2VkMgM
— brianseltzer (@brianseltzer) January 9, 2021
Fellow rookie Isaiah Joe was impressed with what Maxey brought to the floor as well and due to his relationship with him, he was happy to see his friend and his teammate succeed.
“He’s definitely a ballplayer,” said Joe. “He has a knack for the game, and he’s a great person outside the court. Just to see him achieve what he believes he can achieve is just a great feeling.”
The Sixers will now head to Atlanta where they hope to bounce back against a tough Hawks team and see whether they will have a full, healthy team again.
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