NBA playoffs

Maxey, Embiid offset quiet Harden night as Sixers go up 2-0 over Nets


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Maxey, Embiid offset quiet Harden night as Sixers go up 2-0 over Nets

BRUISING. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives against Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (33) during the third quarter in game two of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Tyrese Maxey erupts for 33 as Joel Embiid scores 20 with 19 rebounds in the Philadelphia 76ers' second straight win over the Brooklyn Nets despite just 9 points from James Harden

Tyrese Maxey hit six 3-pointers and scored 33 points to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers to a 96-84 victory and a 2-0 series lead over the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Monday (Tuesday, April 18, Manila time).

Game 3 will be Thursday (Friday, April 21, Manila time) in New York.

Joel Embiid added 20 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots, and Tobias Harris had 20 points and 12 rebounds. James Harden chipped in with eight points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals.

With the Sixers leading 85-78 in the fourth quarter, Embiid threw down a dunk and followed with a tough turnaround jumper for an 89-78 advantage with 2:39 left.

Cameron Johnson led the Nets with 28 points, while Mikal Bridges added 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie finished with 12 points.

Bridges’ jumper had pulled the Nets within 85-78 with 3:34 left.

Philadelphia took a 76-68 lead with 7:30 remaining in the fourth quarter when Harris drove to the basket and scored.

Seth Curry knocked down a 3-pointer 22 seconds later to quickly close within five.

Moments later, Maxey’s trey put the Sixers ahead 83-73, but Royce O’Neale came right back with a 3-pointer with 4:31 left to cut the deficit to seven.

The Nets went ahead 43-35 in the second quarter when O’Neale dropped in a 3-pointer from the wing with 3:57 left. After an empty Sixers possession, Johnson capped a 14-3 run with a dunk for a 10-point advantage.

Maxey hit a deep trey and the Sixers closed within 47-42 with about one minute remaining.

The Nets led 49-44 at halftime thanks in large part to Johnson’s 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting.

Maxey kept the Sixers close with 15 points, while Embiid pulled down 15 rebounds.

The Sixers came out hot from 3-point territory in the third and took a 64-56 lead with 6:07 left after consecutive treys from Harden and Harris.

Philadelphia held a 68-63 advantage at the end of the third. –

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