Injury-depleted 76ers beat Wembanyama, Spurs 133-126 in 2OT with Maxey's career-high 52 points.

San Antonio — Tyrese Maxey scored a career-high 52 points as the injury-depleted Philadelphia 76ers defeated Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs 133-126 in double overtime Sunday night for their fifth straight win.  

“We needed that,” Nicolas Batum remarked. “We needed that tonight. Our Tyrese has been great all year. We could say "Aw, not our night. Their play is good. Two-night back-to-back. No, he persisted. He guided us. He fought for us.” 33 points, 18 rebounds, 7 blocks for Wembanyama. Philadelphia star Joel Embiid missed the second night of a back-to-back. After missing 29 games due to a ruptured left meniscus, he played three straight.

Maxey joined Embiid, Allen Iverson, and Wilt Chamberlain as the only franchise players to reach 50 or more three times this season. Chamberlain posted an NBA-record 45 in 1961-62. “For my little self to be mentioned with those guys, hey, I'm happy, blessed,” Maxey remarked.  

Maxey and Embiid were the first teammates to score 50 points in three games in a season. Maxey scored 50 against Indiana on Nov. 12 and 51 at Utah on Feb. 1. He shot 19 for 41 from the field, 2 for 10 on 3-pointers, and 10 free throws without error on Sunday.  

“I didn’t want to let us lose,” Maxey added. “I wanted to do everything I could, give my all. I could accept the result after that. I wanted to play and help us win no matter how fatigued or injured I was.”  

Maxey scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and six in the two overtimes to help Philadelphia (44-35) beat Miami (43-35) for sixth in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers went on a 10-0 run after San Antonio led 126-123. “Their intensity definitely picked up, in the second overtime especially,” Champagnie remarked. “We could have handled it better.”  

Philadelphia topped San Antonio 30-20 in the final nine minutes, highlighted by Batum's 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds for 109-108. Maxey knotted it 111 with an uncontested basket off an inbounds pass to force overtime after Spurs player Julian Champagnie made a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left.  

Both Champagnie and Tre Jones scored 17 points, and Malaki Branham scored 22 for San Antonio. For Philadelphia, Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 26 points, Reed 11 and 10 rebounds, and Batum 9 points. Wembanyama had a career-high five 3-pointers and six assists. He has 238 blocked shots and 42 double-doubles this season. Only 11 players have 100 blocks this season, with Chet Holmgren of Oklahoma City second with 184.

Batum: “He’s a special man, he’s special. It was wise of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich to say this may be his worst season. The frightening aspect is that this may be the worst Wemby in 15 years. Thank goodness I won tonight.” Both clubs struggle with injuries late in the season. San Antonio lacked Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, Cedi Osman, and Dominick Barlow. Last week, foot problems sidelined Vassell and Sochan for the season. Spurs forward Keldon Johnson returned after three games with a sprained left foot but left with 7:28 left after twisting his ankle.  

Keldon is a unique player for this team," Champagnie stated. “He's the team's soul. His energy is high. He's felt on both ends of the court whether he's scoring or not. We suffered losing him.” Beyond Embiid, Philadelphia was without Tobias Harris, Kyle Lowry, Robert Covington, and De'Anthony Melton. Embiid scored 70 points in a 133-123 win over San Antonio in Philadelphia on Jan. 22.  

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