L2M Report Vindicates Sixers on Officiating Gripes in Game 2 Loss

Sixers star Tyrese Maxey

Getty Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts as Josh Hart #3 of the New York Knicks looks on.

The Last 2 Minute Report bolstered the Philadelphia 76ers‘ claims against the officiating in their stunning 104-101 Game 2 loss to the New York Knicks on April 22.

The NBA ruled that there were four incorrect non-calls, three of them would have favored the Sixers.

According to the Last 2 Minute report, Sixers star Tyrese Maxey was fouled twice during a wild sequence which led to Donte DiVincenzo’s game-winning 3-pointer for the Knicks. It also added that Sixers coach Nick Nurse called for a timeout which referees did not see.

Knicks star Jalen Brunson should have been called for a foul when he grabbed Maxey’s jersey in the inbound play. After the refs missed that, the league also said Hart fouled Maxey which caused the Sixers guard to lose his balance.

“Unacceptable,” Embiid told reporters after the loss. “Tyrese got fouled a couple of times, we just had the same thing happen against Miami with Tyler Herro. That’s just unacceptable to put us in this situation. That’s [expletive] unacceptable to lose a game like this, especially in the playoffs.”

Nurse claimed that the game officials ignored his calls for a timeout.

“I called a timeout, the referee looked right at me, ignored me,” Nurse told reporters. “It went into Tyrese, I called timeout again, and then the melee started. I guess I got to run out onto the floor and do something to get his attention. Needed a timeout there to advance it, would have been good, couldn’t get it.”

The other two incorrect non-calls were an OG Anunnoby defensive 3-second in the final 1:14 and a Joel Embiid foul on DiVincenzo with 34.7 seconds left.

Anunoby’s defensive 3-second violation came before Maxey’s go-ahead 3-pointer while Embiid’s foul on DiVincenzo was before Brunson’s 3-pointer that ignited the Knicks’ 8-0 windup.

Tyrese Maxey Named Most Improved Player of the Year

Maxey won the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year award, the league announced on Tuesday, April 22. He became the second player in Sixers history to win the award after Dana Barros in the 1994-95 season.

Maxey’s scoring average jumped from 20.3 points last season to 25.9 this season while recording three games of 50 or more points, tied for the most in the NBA. The first-time All-Star also made a career-high 212 three-pointers, up from 160 last season. His assists also jumped to 6.2 from 3.5 last season.

Maxey is leading both the Sixers and Knicks in scoring (34.0 points) and assists (7.0) in their playoff series.

Despite his phenomenal play, the Sixers are down 0-2 in the series.

His turnover which led to DiVincenzo’s 3-pointer left a stinging pain in Maxey. But he did not blame the game officials and just man up.

“Just got to rebound. I can’t turn the ball over, can’t lose the ball and we’ve got to get the rebound,” Maxey told reporters after the Game 2 heartbreaker.

Joel Embiid Guarantees Sixers’ Win

The Sixers are facing an uphill climb as they have never won a playoff series when losing the first two games.

But Embiid is unfazed.

“We should be (up) 2-0, so we’re good,” Embiid told reporters. “We should be winning this series. We’re going to win this. We know what we’ve got to fix. We did a better job today, so we’re going to fix it. But we’re the better team and we’re going to keep fighting.”

The series shifts to Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center in what is expected to be an emotionally charged Game 3 on Thursday, April 25.