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Tyrese Maxey stuns Madison Square Garden as Philadelphia 76ers beat New York Knicks in wild Game 5 finale

<i>Frank Franklin II/AP via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Maxey had 46 points for the 76ers.
Frank Franklin II/AP via CNN Newsource
Maxey had 46 points for the 76ers.

By Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — Tyrese Maxey stunned Madison Square Garden into near silence on Tuesday as he led the Philadelphia 76ers to an improbable late comeback against the New York Knicks in Game 5.

With the 76ers trailing by six points and seemingly waving their season goodbye, Maxey scored seven points in the final 28.9 seconds to take the game to overtime where Philadelphia eventually won 112-106 to close the gap in the first-round series to 3-2.

“Going through my mind right there was just: ‘Find a way to survive,’” Maxey told reporters after the game. “Our season is on the line. I trust my work. I trust what I’ve done all my life and I just tried to get to a spot and raise up and knock the shot down.”

Maxey said the team felt a win on Tuesday was “mandatory.”

“We had to [win],” he said. “Our season was on the line and we fought for 53 minutes. Never gave up. Even when we were down late, guys still went out there and made plays. It was big time.

“I remember the last fourth quarter [in Game 4], I wasn’t in rhythm, I didn’t play well, I wasn’t aggressive. I refused to let that happen this time and I came out aggressive as soon as the fourth quarter started.”

After Miles McBride knocked down an easy jumper to give the Knicks a 96-90 lead with 28.9 seconds on the clock, most fans inside a deafening Madison Square Garden would perhaps have already been looking forward to Game 1 in the second round.

Maxey, however, had other ideas.

The 23-year-old was fouled by Mitchell Robinson as he connected on a three-pointer and then knocked down his free throw to complete a rare four-point play with 25.4 seconds remaining.

Josh Hart then made only one of his two free throws after being fouled to give the Knicks a 97-94 lead, opening the door for Maxey to drill another three-point shot from the halfcourt logo and tie the game with 8.1 seconds remaining.

Knicks guard Jalen Brunson then missed the final shot, sending the game to overtime and leading Maxey to shout and pump his arms wildly as he made his way back to the Sixers bench.

“I was saying some things that my grandma probably wouldn’t like, honestly” Maxey joked. “But that’s a lot of emotion. I’m a happy guy, but I absolutely hate losing, especially at certain times like [today, where] I missed three crucial free throws, I turned the ball over late.

“People don’t see me upset a lot, but I was really upset, and I just wanted to go out there and make up for it for my teammates.”

The Knicks took an early five-point lead in OT, but the 76ers roared back with a 9-0 run and never looked back.

Maxey scored a game-high 46 points, including seven three pointers, to go with five rebounds and nine assists. Teammate and reigning MVP Joel Embiid registered a triple-double – 19 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists – to go along with four blocks.

For the Knicks, Brunson continued his stunning playoff form with 40 points, six assists and three steals.

Bucks remain alive against Pacers, Cavaliers edge Magic

Elsewhere, the Bucks earned a comfortable 115-92 win over the Indiana Pacers to close the gap in the series to 3-2.

In the absence of injured star duo Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis led the Bucks with a 29-point double-double each.

Tyrese Haliburton led the way for the Pacers with just 16 as the teams now return to Indiana for Game 6.

Evan Mobley’s clutch block on Franz Wagner earned the Cleveland Cavaliers a narrow 104-103 win over the Orlando Magic to open up a 3-2 series lead.

Losing 102-100 in the dying seconds, Wagner drove to the basket but saw his lay-up attempt swatted away by Mobley.

Mobley was then fouled and made both of his free throws, before Paulo Banchero connected on a consolation three-pointer at the buzzer.

Donovan Mitchell led scoring for the Cavs with 28 points, while Banchero had 39 for the Magic.

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