Welcome to Run It Back! In this weekly series, we will summarize the week overall and recap each Sixers game from the previous week (Sunday to Saturday).
It was a busy week for Philadelphia with four games on the schedule.
The Sixers kicked off the week at home, hosting the Miami Heat for the first leg of a home-and-home. The Sixers fell in that contest after a sleepy performance, but got their revenge Wednesday night in Miami. Joel Embiid was ruled out for the latter contest with foot soreness, but the rest of the team stepped up in his absence. Philadelphia continued from there on the road, headed to Dallas to take on Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. The powerful duo combined for 82 of the Mavericks’ 133 points, and it was enough to overcome the Sixers despite a late comeback attempt from the visitors. From there, the road led to Milwaukee, with the Bucks on a 16-game win streak.
A noteworthy change was made during the week by head coach Doc Rivers, slotting Tyrese Maxey back in the starting lineup for the second Heat game as well as both the Mavericks and the Bucks contests. Maxey looked great back in the starting five, averaging 27.3 points across the three games. Whether this trend of him starting again will continue or not, however, is only known by Rivers.
Something else to keep an eye on as we enter the next week are the statuses of Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker. Both exited the contest vs. the Bucks early, Harris with calf soreness and Tucker with back spasms.
Philadelphia is now 41-22 and currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference. Their road trip continues on Monday night when they take on the Indiana Pacers at 7:00 P.M. EST.
Miami Heat at Sixers
Result: L, 101-99
Bell Ringer: Tyrese Maxey
This was a plainly lackluster performance from the Sixers, allowing the Heat to snag a 101-99 victory over the hosts at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night.
In the first, the Heat out-rebounded the Sixers 18-8 to establish a lead — eight of those boards came on the offensive end. Sloppiness then plagued Philadelphia, with the Sixers committing eight turnovers in the second. The Heat were only up by eight at halftime, but that seemed like a blessing the way the Sixers were playing.
The Sixers had one last run in them, even taking their first lead since early in the first quarter at 99-98. Sadly, those were the Sixers’ final points, as they finished the game with some very ugly offensive possessions, and James Harden’s game-winning three-point attempt was off the mark.
two defenders. two points. pic.twitter.com/xWDF7zfI3i— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 28, 2023
Sixers at Miami Heat
Result: W, 119-96
Bell Ringer: Paul Reed
The Sixers took advantage of their quick chance at redemption against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, defeating the Heat 119-96 in the second leg of the home-and-home.
The Sixers were without leader Joel Embiid, who was out for Wednesday’s contest with foot soreness, shifting Tyrese Maxey back into the starting lineup. Maxey and Tobias Harris both jumped out to quick starts for the Sixers, helping Philadelphia stay within striking distance of the Heat early. A 32-10 run in the second put the Sixers on top and some good defense helped them build their lead to 18 points at halftime.
The Heat inched back within 11 at one point in the third but the Sixers locked down on defense to build their lead back up to 19 by the end of the frame. From there, the Sixers were able to extend and hold their lead, even earning a few minutes of rest for the starters in this first night of a back-to-back.
This was a highlight performance from Paul Reed, who posted a double-double. Reed finished with 16 points off the bench shooting 7-for-10 from the floor. He also set a new season- and career-high for rebounds with 14 boards, nine on the defensive end.
Sixers at Dallas Mavericks
Result: L, 133-126
Bell Ringer: Tyrese Maxey
Aiming to punctuate the second leg of their road back-to-back with a win after Wednesday’s victory in Miami, the Philadelphia 76ers ventured to Dallas for a nationally televised showdown. Despite Joel Embiid’s return, the Sixers’ defense couldn’t slow the Mavericks’ prolific attack, falling 133-126 on Thursday night.
It was a close affair through the first half, with both teams firing off shots with little-to-no defense really going on. The Mavericks rode an extended 36-15 run in the third quarter to stretch open the game, taking a 20-plus-point lead, and it looked like it was all over then and there.
That was until Tyrese Maxey came alive in the fourth, scoring 17 of his 29 points in the frame and bringing the Sixers back within striking distance. The comeback attempt was too little, too late, though, and Dallas were able to hold on for the victory.
A battle of the bigs, this one was. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined for 82 points. Embiid, Harden and Maxey countered with a collective 91 of their own.
29 PTS for Tyrese Maxey ‼️— NBA (@NBA) March 3, 2023
Sixers are looking to make another run late on TNT pic.twitter.com/eV6AkS0kYX
Sixers at Milwaukee Bucks
Result: W, 133-130
Bell Ringer: James Harden
A brutal stretch of games continued for the Sixers on Saturday night when they visited the smoking-hot Milwaukee Bucks who were looking to build on a 16-game win streak.
Well, the Buck stops here. The Sixers overcame a 18-point deficit to defeat the Bucks 133-130 in Milwaukee on Saturday night.
It was a battle of the big three from each team in a first half that ended with the Sixers trailing by six. Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey combined for 39 points for the Sixers while Giannis Antetkounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez combined for 41 for the Bucks. The Sixers’ defense continued to look questionable at best, especially in the paint. The Bucks scored 28 points in the painted area by the break.
A few missed shots from the Sixers and some hot hands from long range for the Bucks, and quickly Philadelphia was down double-digits in the third. Greyson Allen led Milwaukee in the third with 20 points in an explosive frame that led the Bucks to a 99-85 lead going into the fourth.
Really, just about anything that could go wrong for the Sixers was going wrong, but a sudden 15-2 run in the fourth led off by two Georges Niang triples clawed the Sixers back within one. The teams traded buckets as time wound down, but the Sixers finally took a lead with a crucial three from Embiid with less than a minute to play. Maxey grabbed the rebound on the Bucks’ next possession, drawing a foul and hitting both from the line to put the Sixers up by four with 25 seconds to play. The Sixers were able to hold on, completing the comeback and ending the Bucks’ win streak. The 48-point fourth quarter is Philadelphia’s highest-scoring fourth quarter in any game since 1972.