Maxey scores career-high 52 points, injury-depleted 76ers outlast Wembanyama, Spurs 133-126 in 2OT

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) is fouled as he gets tangled up with Philadelphia 76ers guard Cameron Payne as Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed, right, looks on, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez)
San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) is fouled as he gets tangled up with Philadelphia 76ers guard Cameron Payne as Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed, right, looks on, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, April 7, 2024, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Rodolfo Gonzalez)

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By RAUL DOMINGUEZ
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tyrese Maxey had a career-high 52 points and the injury-depleted Philadelphia 76ers overcame Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs 133-126 in double overtime Sunday night for their fifth straight victory.

“We needed that,” Philadelphia forward Nicolas Batum said. “We needed that tonight. Tyrese has been amazing for us all year long. We could easily like “Aw, this is not our night. They’re playing good. Second night of a back-to-back. No, he didn’t give up. He led the way for us. He kept fighting for us.”

Wembanyama had 33 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks.

Philadelphia star Joel Embiid sat out the second night of a back-to-back. He had played three straight after missing 29 games because of a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Maxey reached 50 or more for the third time this season, joining Embiid, Allen Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in franchise history to accomplish the feat. Chamberlain had an NBA-record 45 in 1961-62.

“For my little self to be mentioned with those guys, hey, I’m happy, blessed,” Maxey said.

The 76ers are the first team in league history with two players scoring 50 points in three games in a season with Maxey joining Embiid.

Maxey had 50 points against Indiana on Nov. 12, and 51 at Utah on Feb. 1. On Sunday, he was 19 for 41 from the field, 2 of 10 on 3-pointers and made 10 free throws without a mess.

“I didn’t want to let us lose,” Maxey said. “I just wanted to do whatever I could, exert all my energy. I could live with the result after that. No matter how tired, no matter how sore, I just wanted to go out there and try to help us win.”

Maxey scored 18 points in the fourth quarter and six points in the two overtimes to propel Philadelphia (44-35) into seventh in the Eastern Conference ahead of Miami (43-35).

After San Antonio took a 126-123 lead, the 76ers finished the game on a 10-0 run.

“Their intensity definitely picked up, in the second overtime especially,” Champagnie said. “I think we could have handled it better.”

Philadelphia outscored San Antonio 30-20 in the final nine minutes of regulation, punctuated by Batum’s 3-pointer with 9.3 seconds for a 109-108 lead. Spurs forward Julian Champagnie followed with a 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining, but Maxey tied it 111 with an uncontested layup off an inbounds pass to force overtime.

Champagnie and Tre Jones finished with 17 points each and Malaki Branham had 22 for San Antonio.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 26 points, Paul Reed had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Batum had nine points for Philadelphia.

Wembanyama had a career-high five 3-pointers and added six assists. He has 42 double-doubles this season and 238 blocked shots. Only 11 other players have 100 blocks this season with Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren second at 184.

“He’s a special man, he’s special,” Batum said. “It was a good call from (San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich) when he said this may be his worst season. That is the scariest part, this may be the worst Wemby we are going to see in 15 years. I’m glad I won this one tonight.”

Both teams are hindered by injuries as the regular season winds down.

San Antonio was without Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, Cedi Osman and Dominick Barlow. Vassell and Sochan were ruled out for the season last week with foot injuries.

Spurs forward Keldon Johnson returned after missing three games with a sprained left foot but exited after turning his left ankle with 7:28 left in the game.

“Keldon is a one-of-a-kind player for this team,” Champagnie said. “He’s the heart and soul of this team. He brings a lot of energy. Regardless if he’s scoring or not, his presence is definitely felt on both ends of the floor. Losing him definitely hurt us.”

In addition to Embiid, Philadelphia was also without Tobias Harris, Kyle Lowry, Robert Covington and De’Anthony Melton.

Embiid scored 70 points against San Antonio in a 133-123 victory in Philadelphia on Jan. 22.

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