Tyrese Maxey, Sixers explain difference in order to defeat Cavaliers

PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers needed a win in the worst way on Friday. They had a tough night against the New York Knicks on Thursday and were on the second night of a back-to-back as they played host to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Sixers got a little healthier out on the floor with the return of De’Anthony Melton and the Sixers were able to walk away with a much-needed 104-97 win over the Cavs. The Sixers led by as many as 11 and led for the majority of the game.

There was a big difference for Philadelphia against the Cavaliers compared to what transpired against the Knicks as it looked as if there was much more effort.

“I think, honestly, other than the beginning or that first half from the third quarter on last night, we flipped the switch and turned it around,” Maxey said after the win. “So I think that was the start of it, honestly, because down 23–so I don’t know how much we were down to go into halftime last night, but a lot of guys on the team. A lot of pride. So we went out there and competed extremely hard.”

Maxey is correct about that. The Sixers trailed the Knicks by as many as 26 on Thursday before rallying to cut it to six in the fourth before they fell short. They took that effort and carried it into this matchup with Cleveland.

“It was super important,” coach Nick Nurse said of the bounce-back effort. “I think we talked about it before the game that we were more measuring our ability to do that today versus who we were playing and you could tell right from the start there was there was a whole lot more in pop, physicality. Just chasing the ball on the glass better, better contesting, better sharing. All that stuff.”

It also helped the Sixers that Maxey scored 15 points in the fourth quarter on 5-for-9 shooting. Philadelphia needed all of that in order to walk away with a win.

“I just think that he was having one of those games where we were getting a good dose of offense from some other people and he was OK with that, but I said the same at the half—I said I think we’re in good shape here because Tyrese hasn’t really engaged offensively yet and I’m pretty sure he’s going to,” Nurse said of Maxey’s big fourth quarter. “He obviously made a lot of big buckets down the stretch. So I think he did it right tonight.”

Maxey had nine points on 4-for-13 shooting through the first three quarters before he was able to go off in the fourth. It certainly helped that Cam Payne had 16 points off the bench and gave Philadelphia a big boost to keep them afloat before Maxey went off.

“I was pretty stinky the first three quarters so I was just like if we could just hang around and they give me a chance to make some shots in the fourth to close it out, I told them I got them,” Maxey said with a smile. “So that’s what we did.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire