The Raptors arrived in Philadelphia with a 3-2 lead, and only 48 minutes stood between them and the Eastern Conference finals. But the home team was better, taking a 112-101 victory, taking the series to Game 7 which will be played on Sunday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons led the 76ers to victory with 25 and 21 points respectively. Simmons particularly enjoyed the night, scoring more points than in Game 4 and 5 combined.
Kawhi Leonard had a double-double, with 29 points and 12 rebounds, although he failed to score a three-pointer from 4 attempts. Pascal Siakam contributed with 21 points, while Lowry scored 13. It’s interesting that no one else managed to score in double digit. Serge Ibaka was the closest with 9 points but was fouled out with 4 minutes left on the clock. Danny Green had 8.
Commenting after the game, coach Nick Nurse said the team hadn’t played with enough force, hard enough and with enough physicality.
Joel Embiid recovered from his illness, which was obvious from his performance. He ended the game with a double-double, 17 points and 12 rebounds.
An Excellent Game for the Home Team
Many were doubtful that the 76ers could recover from the 125-89 loss in Game 5 in Toronto, the Raptors record-breaking playoff win, especially as they were so dominant in that game, leading by 40 points at one point. However, the 76ers manage to bounce back in front of their fans at Wells Fargo Centre and even the series.
The home team was simply better, dominating the majority of the game. The Raptors were briefly in front – for about a minute in the first quarter – and from that point on, the 76ers were increasing their lead, stretching it to 19 points in the first half. In the first five games, the team who won the first quarter has gone to win the game as well, and Game 6 was no exception. Both teams had a couple of runs during the first 12 minutes, but in the end, the 76ers took a 29-21 lead into the second. Keeping the momentum through the better part of the second quarter, they were leading by 15 at the end of the half.
By the time the fourth quarter started, Philadelphia was leading by 20 (87-67) but didn’t stop there. They increased their advantage to 24 before the Raptors cut that lead to 19 with a mini-run.
The Raptors had a lousy 9 for 36 for three, with only 18 rebounds less than their opponents.
The winner of Game 7 will face the Milwaukee Bucks in the conference finals.
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