Tyrese Maxey’s Miller Time MSG Moment Saves Sixers

Philadelphia now trails the Knicks 3-2 in their first-round series

Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tyrese Maxey slayed the New York Knicks at MSG.

For NBA fans of a certain age who remember what Reggie Miller did against the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 1995, it was Throwback Tuesday last night at MSG.

Trailing by six points with 8.9 seconds left on the clock, Miller scored eight points before time ran out to carry the Indiana Pacers to a 107-105 victory over the home team. “It was a perfect storm,” Miller offered 25 years later.

On Tuesday night at MSG, Tyrese Maxey of the 76ers channeled his inner Miller and conjured a tempest of his own with Philadelphia trailing by six with 28.2 seconds remaining in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series with the Knicks up 3-1. Maxey, who put up 35 points last week in a loss at MSG that was marred by poor officiating and dropped the 76ers into a 0-2 hole in the first-round series, first pulled off an off-balance four-point play to pull Philly within two.

The ball in his hands with about 15 ticks left following a free throw from Knicks forward Josh Hart, Maxey, who had 46 points in 52 minutes, dribbled up the court and pulled off a pull-up logo bomb from 35 feet to tie it at 97 and send the game to OT. The crowd, set to celebrate the Knicks’ second straight trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals moments earlier, was stunned.

Jalen Brunson, who scored 40 points for the Knicks, did what he could in overtime with eight points, but it wasn’t enough to stave off a 9-0 run that was triggered by a Maxey 3-pointer that Joel Embiid, who finished with 19 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists for the Sixers, capped with a three-point play with 1:40 remaining for a 106-102 lead. Philly held on for a 112-106 win.

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Following the game, Maxey settled on “mandatory” to describe his performance.

“What was going through my mind was trying to survive,” Maxey said. “Our season is on the line. I trust my work. I trust what I’ve done all my life and I just tried to get to a spot, raise up and knock that shot down.”

Philadelphia will host Game 6 on Thursday night. If they win, Maxey will have another chance to rewind to Miller Time at MSG.

“I can’t believe it has been 25 years,” Miller said in 2020. “I get the video sent to me all the time. Fans, they keep the spirit alive like it just happened recently. And it occurred in the Mecca, Madison Square Garden, New York City, against the Knicks.”

Will it happen again?

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