Watch Tyrese Maxey drop 50 on Pacers in 76ers' eighth straight win

Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers
Indiana Pacers v Philadelphia 76ers

James who?

The Philadelphia 76ers have been the best team in the NBA the past couple of weeks and the reason is Tyrese Maxey. The fourth-year player — another guard out of Kentucky who slid down the draft board farther than he should have — has made the leap and been an All-Star, maybe All-NBA level player and given the 76ers the second star next to Joel Embiid they have been looking for.

Sunday, Maxey took another step and had his first 50-point game, shredding the Pacers' defense.

Credit Nick Nurse and the 76ers coaches, who are leaning hard into Maxey. They opened the game running a lot of empty-side wing pick-and-rolls with Maxey and Joel Embiid that Indiana had no answer for (and is tough to defend with shooters spacing the floor). This is Indiana with two good defenders — Bruce Brown and Myles Turner — and they still could not slow the action.

After the game, Maxey dedicated his 50-point night to injured teammate Kelly Oubre, who will be out for a while after being hit by a car as a pedestrian walking in his neighborhood.

Indiana was led by Tyrese Haliburton, who is making a leap himself this season and had 25 points and 17 assists. Turner scored 22 and Buddy Hield had 16, but it was the defense and energy of T.J. McConnell that turned things around in this game for Indiana.

It just wasn't enough against Maxey, with Embiid adding 37 points and 13 rebounds (and offensive rebounds were vital in the Sixers win).