76ers steal Game 5 from Knicks behind Tyrese Maxey's heroics to keep season alive


New York Knicks fans were ready to party as it looked like their team was ready to clinch the first round series over the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Tyrese Maxey had other plans in mind: keep Philadelphia’s season alive. 

The 76ers absolutely stole Game 5 from under the Knicks’ feet thanks to Maxey’s jaw-dropping heroics in the 112-106 overtime victory that sends the series back to Philly for Game 6. 

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Tyrese Maxey layup

Tyrese Maxey, #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers, drives to the basket during the game against the New York Knicks during Round 1 Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2024 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Maxey, the league’s Most Improved Player this season, sprinted down the court after the Knicks took a six-point lead, 96-90, with 28 seconds to play. It was on the left wing where he pump-faked a three-pointer, getting Knicks center Mitchell Robinson to leave his feet. As Maxey leaned in for the foul, he took the three and made it with a chance at a four-point play thanks to Robinson’s crucial mistake. 

After hitting the free throw, the Knicks saw Josh Hart make just one of two free throws, giving the Sixers a chance to tie the game with another made three. Then, Maxey, who curled around a screen and knocked down a logo three-pointer, tied the game with eight seconds to play. 

Jalen Brunson, the Knicks’ star all season including this series, was not able to take the ball downcourt to win it in regulation, and the game needed extra time to find a victor. 

Brunson drained the Knicks’ first five points in extra time – a three-pointer and a layup with Joel Embiid draped all over him in the team’s first two possessions. 

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Maxey, though, continued to stay scorching hot from beyond the arc, draining a three-ball of his own to cut the Knicks’ lead to two points. 

The Knicks were not able to make anything happen on offense after that, including a tremendous transition opportunity with Brunson dribbling alongside multiple teammates and only Embiid at the rim. However, he decided to dish the ball to Hart, who was blocked by Embiid. 

Jalen Brunson looks down at Knicks jersey

Jalen Brunson, #11 of the New York Knicks, prepares for the opening tipoff against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. (Elsa/Getty Images)

On the next possession, the Sixers took the lead with Kelly Oubre Jr. dunking it with 2:21 to play in overtime. Embiid would further the lead with an and-one to make it 106-102. 

However, things went the Knicks’ way again when Embiid was called for a Flagrant 1 foul on Brunson, as referees determined the MVP center swiped at the Knicks’ point guard and hit him in the head. It was a critical call, as Brunson was able to shoot two free throws while the Knicks retained possession. 

Brunson would make one of two free throws, but he was still able to tie it at 106 apiece when he drained a 26-foot three.

The Sixers, though, would retake their lead thanks to Oubre getting wide open in the paint, and though he didn’t make the alley-oop, he buried the layup to go up two points. 

Then, the back-breaking mistake came from Brunson, when it looked like he was stepping back for a three-pointer and the lead, but Nicolas Batum stepped up for the block. Brunson tried to throw the ball to Isaiah Hartenstein in the right corner, but the Knicks’ center broke to the hoop expecting Brunson to put the shot up. 

Joel Embiid points on floor

Joel Embiid, #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers, reacts before the opening tipoff against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The ball went out of bounds and the Knicks’ chances of salvaging the win were dead after Tobias Harris and Maxey buried free throws. 

The Knicks faithful could not believe what went down, as the win was virtually in the bag if they simply played it smart. However, Maxey deserves all the credit in the world for not giving up and allowing his team the chance to keep their season alive. 

Maxey finished with a game-high 46 points on 17-of-30, including 7-of-12 three-pointers made. He also had nine assists and five rebounds. Harris also had his best game of the series, going 7-of-11 for 19 points. 

Embiid had a rough night, though, committing nine turnovers which is very uncharacteristic. He was 7-of-19 from the field and only shot six free throws, making four of them for 19 points total. He did have a game-high 16 rebounds. 

Tyrese Maxey reacts on court

Tyrese Maxey, #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers, celebrates during the game against the New York Knicks during Round 1 Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2024 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

For the Knicks, Brunson finished with 40 points just one game after rewriting the franchise record with 47 to lead the way in Game 4’s win. Hart had 18 points after missing all his shot attempts in Game 4, while OG Anunoby finished with 17 points. Miles “Deuce” McBride went 6-of-11 from the field for 14 points off the bench. 

The Sixers will return home on Thursday night in hopes this momentum can continue in their building, where Embiid said it was “disappointing” to hear how large of a Knicks contingent was present in the stands. 

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Will the Knicks respond, or will this electric series head to a decisive Game 7 at MSG? 

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