You’ve got to give credit to the Philadelphia 76ers. They could have given up multiple times in Game 5, but their iron will saw them live another day with a chance to force a winner-take-all Game 7 in front of their home fans. Joel Embiid, who’s still playing through pain, put on a gritty performance with triple-double of 19 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.

Embiid was also a force on defense with one steal and four blocks, including a huge one with 1:30 left in the extra period. He did also get called for a flagrant foul soon after, though, as he hit Jalen Brunson in the face while trying to swipe for the ball.

Tyrese Maxey stepped up big time for the Sixers with 46 points, five rebounds and nine assists while shooting 17 of 30 overall and 7 of 12. Even the most diehard New York Knicks fans would have respected his performance.

It was a wild ending to the game in overtime. After Brunson missed the second of his flagrant free throws, the Knicks got an offensive rebound that turned into a game-tying three with 1:14 left on the clock. Kelly Oubre responded with a go-ahead bucket eight seconds later.

Then, with the Knicks trailing by just two points, Brunson commited an unforced turnover with 18 seconds left on the clock thanks to excellent defense from Nicolas Batum. Tobias Harris made a pair of free throws after that to make it a two possession game. 

Another Knicks miss forced them to foul one last time, which allowed Maxey to cap off a 15-4 run for the Sixers and preserve the 112-106 victory. The Knicks went scoreless over three minutes during that run, which coach Tom Thibodeau will be yelling at them about until tipoff of Game 6.

Batum deserves a lot of credit because on top of forcing Brunson’s crucial overtime turnover, he also blocked Brunson at the end of the fourth quarter to force OT.

This series has been the best of the first round so far. NBA fans deserve to see this matchup two more times, because these games have been FIRE for the most part. I’m hoping the Sixers win Game 6.