It’s been a whirlwind past 24 hours for the 76ers. On Saturday, Philly found out that it was losing starting wing Kelly Oubre Jr. for a “significant” amount of time after Oubre was injured when a vehicle struck him near his Philadelphia residence.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Oubre suffered fractured ribs and injuries to his hip and right leg as a result of the collision. He was enjoying the best basketball of his career at the time of the incident, averaging 16.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per night for the 7-1 Sixers.
MORE: Kelly Oubre Jr. injury update
Oubre’s sudden absence is a big blow to a Philadelphia side that has title aspirations. The nature of his absence has certainly let a mark on the franchise as well.
With Oubre on the mend, the Sixers needed a hero. Enter guard Tyrese Maxey, who turned Wells Fargo Arena into the Apollo Theatre with his antics on Sunday.
Maxey poured in a career-high 50 points to lead his team to its eighth victory of the year, lighting up the Pacers’ backcourt with dizzying speed and lights-out shooting.
It was just the sort of display Philadelphia needed after its emotionally exhausting night. And when Maxey spoke with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Taryn Hatcher, he only had one thing on his mind.
MORE: Kelly Oubre Jr. accident, explained
“This had nothing to do with me,” Maxey said. “This is all Kelly Oubre. We’re praying for him. Love my dawg, man. I just met him but I love him. I hope he gets well soon.”
Maxey strung together the sort of performance that Oubre would be proud of. He flourished at all three levels of the floor, all the while showcasing the sort of brashness and confidence Oubre has come to be known for around league circles.
Maxey even added some defensive pyrotechnics to round off his all-around display.
And once his final shot whetted the nylon, it was clear that Oubre had helped carry him through.
Roses are nice. But standout performances are better. Maxey came through in a big way on Sunday night. And it’s hard to imagine that Oubre wasn’t there with him, helping propel him through the web of weariness that Indiana sent his way.