Tyrese Maxey saves Sixers from elimination with huge finish in OT win that cuts Knicks' lead to 3-2

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 30: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 30, 2024 in New York City. The Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New York Knicks 112-106 ((Photo by Elsa/Getty Images))

Tyrese Maxey saved Philadelphia from elimination with seven points in the final 25 seconds of regulation, finished with 46 and led the 76ers to a 112-106 overtime victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their first-round series.

The Sixers trailed by six points with 28 seconds left in regulation before Maxey pulled out a comeback that evoked memories of Reggie Miller's eight points in nine seconds for Indiana at Madison Square Garden in 1995.

The All-Star guard converted a four-point play with 25 seconds remaining to cut it to two, and after Josh Hart's free throw, pulled up from 35 feet to tie it at 97 with 8.1 seconds left in front of a stunned crowd that was set to celebrate the Knicks' second straight trip to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Joel Embiid finished with 19 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists for the Sixers, who will host Game 6 on Thursday night.

Jalen Brunson scored 40 points for the Knicks, who were thinking about a possible Game 1 of the second round at MSG on Saturday night. Instead, it could be Game 7 of this series, which seemed all but over.

It was the second desperate rally to save what seemed certain defeat in what has been a razor-tight series between Atlantic Division rivals. The Knicks won Game 2 after trailing by five points with under 30 seconds remaining.

Embiid, who has been ailing and missed shootaround with a headache, didn’t score like usual after coming into the game with an NBA-leading 35 points per game in the playoffs, and he also had nine turnovers. But Maxey picked up the scoring load, making seven 3-pointers while adding nine assists.

His last 3-pointer got the 76ers on the board in overtime after Brunson scored the first five points. That triggered a 9-0 run that Embiid capped with a three-point play with 1:40 remaining for a 106-102 lead, and after Brunson’s 3 tied it at 106, Kelly Oubre Jr. made the tiebreaking basket with 1:02 to go and Tobias Harris followed with two free throws.

Harris had 19 points and Oubre scored 14.

Hart had 18 points and OG Anunoby 17 for the Knicks, who won Game 4 at Philadelphia and didn't appear like they were heading back there. But the Sixers' rally to win by six meant the No. 7 seeds have outscored the Knicks by two total points in the series.