By: Kylan Watson
The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers met once again in South Philadelphia. To renew their budding playoff rivalry in game one of the first round of the 2022 Eastern Conference Playoffs. Tyrese Maxey used the first game of this series as a coming out party, as he powered Philly to their first victory of this series 131-111.
The 76ers dominated this game from the opening tip-off. They hit their shots early in the game and got whatever they wanted from the floor. Philly overpowered the Toronto defenders and took full advantage of being the more talented team. Tobias Harris (26-points) and Tyrese Maxey (38-points) led them. They combined for 64 of Philly’s 131-points. Maxey took full advantage of his first full-time experience as a playoff starter. He scored 38-points and hit five three-pointers. In the third quarter when the Raptors were trying to get back in the game. He scored 21-points (Most points scored by a 76er in one quarter since Allen Iverson.) in the third quarter to keep Philly ahead. Maxey is a pivotal piece for Philly his scoring will continue to be needed to make the Raptors pay for daring to double team Embiid. He has become a three-point threat in his second season in the NBA. If Philly wants to beat Toronto in this series, he must continue to perform well on both sides of the ball like he did tonight.
On Maxey’s dominant performance, “Tyrese is great, man. He has game, and he works his butt off. He gets it,” said Sixers Point-Guard James Harden.
Despite being outplayed throughout this game. The Raptors were able to cut a 24-point lead to 14-points in the third quarter. Thanks to Fred VanVleet (18-points) and Pascal Siakam (24-points) who combined for 42 of the Raptors 111-points. Toronto could not take advantage of their wide-open opportunities tonight. They missed shots that they usually make, and Philly made them take tough shots which they could not hit tonight. Toronto will definitely try to get some better shots in game two on Monday night.
With Game 2 coming up on Monday night. Philly will need to have another balanced scoring night and continue to limit the Raptors to just one shot on the defensive end if they want to get out to a 2-to-zero series lead.