The Philadelphia 76ers (31-19) defeated the Memphis Grizzlies (35-18) 122-119 in overtime.
The Tyrese Maxey Show
Tyrese Maxey’s electric performance headlined Philadelphia’s overtime win. Most importantly, the second-year guard came up clutch in the last few minutes of overtime. He scored a crafty two on a straight line drive to the basket, which gave Philadelphia their final lead. Finally, Maxey sealed the deal with an exciting layup as the game clock expired. However, Tyrese admitted he wanted to dunk the ball on the last play, but unfortunately didn’t have the energy. (via Austin Krell of The Painted Lines).
All in all, Maxey finished with a team-high 33 points, 8 assists, and 4 blocks on 63.3 true-shooting. The sophomore guard’s dribble penetration and ability to control the pace in transition gave Memphis problems. In addition to this, Maxey and Andre Drummond had a lot of success when they ran a pick-and-roll. Also, Tyrese’s shot creation and isolation drives were invaluable down the stretch.
Tyrese Maxey vs Grizzlies 🔥— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 1, 2022
33 Points (6 in OT)
On top of that, Tobias Harris also stepped up in Joel Embiid’s absence. Harris was second on the team in scoring with 31 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds on 57.0 true-shooting. He was very effective in his two-man game with him and Drummond, off the dribble, from the mid-range, as a cutter, and in the low post. Also, Harris’ passing and reads were the best they’ve been all year. However, Tobias didn’t perform well in overtime as he had a bone-headed shot selection and too much dribble penetration.
Though it was mainly the Maxey and Harris show, Philadelphia had other key contributors as well. After starting out 0-9 from the field, Seth Curry stepped up in a big way when it mattered. In the 2nd half, Curry did what he did best, which was pick-and-pop action, getting to the rim, and he drained a big three as well. He finished the game with 9 points on 4-15 shooting from the field. Also, Andre Drummond was Philadelphia’s glue on offense. His facilitating and screen-setting was so important for Maxey’s success and Philly’s ball movement. Additionally, Drummond was a beast on the glass. The big man tallied 16 points, 23 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Ja Morant Proving Why he’s an MVP Candidate
Ja Morant added another MVP-caliber performance to his incredible 2021-2022 campaign. The all-star starter’s play was extremely entertaining to watch and he gave Philadelphia hell. The 76ers interior defense was dominated by Morant’s high-level rim pressure and elite body control, which allowed him to finish so efficiently. Also, the pick-and-roll between Morant and center Steven Adams murdered Philly’s defense, especially Andre Drummond in the restricted area. On top of all this, Morant dusted the Sixers in transition. Well, the Grizzlies collectively played extremely well on the breaks for that matter. But above all, Ja’s dribble penetration was lethal and borderline unstoppable. In the first half, the Sixers had a bit of success trapping him on the perimeter, but Morant adjusted. The MVP led all scorers with 37 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists on 53.8 true-shooting.
JA MORANT CLUTCH.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 1, 2022
In addition to Ja’s elite outing, swingman Desmond Bane was a huge problem for the 76ers. The second-year wing did damage in a plethora of ways on both ends. Offensively, Bane attacked the basket a ton in the first and had great success doing so, despite good contesting from Drummond. To boot, Desmond’s self-creation in the midrange and perimeter shooting were just as valuable. Bane shot 5-9 from beyond the arc with help from Adams’ high-screens. Most importantly, Bane hit some huge shots in the clutch.
Defensively, he forced turnovers and played great one on one defense from the perimeter. The Grizzlies rotated very well and Bane had much to do with this. Memphis had 30 points off of Philadelphia’s turnovers. Overall, Bane finished with 34 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals on 69.0 effective field-goal percentage.
Big man Jaren Jackson Jr. had a solid outing that was overlooked in the midst of Ja Morant and Tyrese Maxey. Jaren had a notable impact on both ends of the floor, despite poor efficiency. Defensively, he provided great help defense and protected the rim at a high level with 2 blocks. Offensively, he got his kicks in the low post as well as the perimeter. Jackson Jr. poured in 18 points and 7 rebounds on 44.1 effective field-goal percentage.