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Tyrese Maxey survives a scare and lifts the Sixers past the Mavericks in a homecoming

Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Basketball

While driving the lane, Maxey fell to the floor and was inadvertently struck in the back of the head with four minutes left in the third quarter. He rolled around for a few minutes in pain before getting up and walking to the Sixers bench. Moments later, Maxey, his father, and the medical staff from both teams went to a room where he was evaluated. After being assessed by the Mavs doctors, Maxey was cleared to play and resumed action at the start of the fourth quarter.

Thriving through adjustments

Maxey is making a lot of adjustments, from having the luxury of playing off Joel Embiid to having the scoring load on his shoulders.

“I think it’s been a tremendous experience for him,” Sixers coach Nick Nurse said. ‘I think we’re learning a lot and he’s learning a lot. I think there’s a lot of room for growth here.”

But it has been an interesting situation for Maxey and the Sixers. He has never been in the situation where he had to provide the scoring load at the beginning of the season. Maxey’s focus was on running the team and deciding when to shoot and when to get others involved. At the same time, the Sixers were asking him to get better defensively.

“And then Joel goes out [after knee surgery] and now he has a whole other scenario,” Nurse said. “He’s clearly our best offensive player, like, clearly, and we need him to shoot a lot. And he’s still not quite thinking, ‘I’m coming down, I’m going to shoot it like five times in a row if I make one.’ I’m still pushing the aggressive part of it first and foremost, because it’s really not his total nature yet.”

 

That being said, Maxey still has to see the floor and spread the ball around a little bit. But the addition of Lowry has taken some of the facilitating duties off him. The North Philly native, who signed with the Sixers on Feb. 13, made his second consecutive start on Sunday.

Maxey attempted just 15 shots against the Mavs after attempting 33 against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

“Now we are talking,” Nurse said before the game. “We’re getting there. We’re getting to the point where I can say stop looking to shoot so much, you know?”

With Maxey leading the way, the Sixers outscored Dallas, 32-11, in the first quarter after Nurse called a timeout 2 minutes, 13 seconds into the game. The Mavs were shooting 4-for-4 before the timeout, and made just 3 of 16 shots in the quarter afterward.

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