Kawhi Leonard once again had a fantastic night, scoring 33 points in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-final series, but he couldn’t beat the Philadelphia 76ers alone. Leonard scored 113 points so far in the series, but not even his excellent third quarter performance could help Toronto avoid another defeat.
In the end, the Raptors lost 116-95 at Wells Fargo Center, while the second consecutive win has now given the 76ers a 2-1 lead in the series.
Joel Embiid led the 76ers to another win with a double-double – 33 points and 10 rebounds, while Jimmy Butler contributed with 22.
Pascal Siakam scored 20 points for the visiting team, Danny Green had 13, while Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry scored 7 points each. But the rest of the Raptors roster had a disappointing night, scoring a total of 15 points combined!
Raptors Were Unrecognizable
The 76ers dominated the entire match, while the Raptors were completely harmless, and were already trailing by 14 points in the first half, although that lead was only 3 points (32-29) at the beginning of the second. The 76ers were impressive in the second quarter, increasing their advantage, and ending the first half with an 11 point lead (64-53).
That lead increased to 18 points in the third quarter. Toronto did manage to cut that margin to within 8 points with a 15-8 run, trailing 89-81 with 12 minutes left on the clock.
But with Leonard on the bench at the start of the fourth, the 76ers slowly increased their lead to 18. The home’s team kept on growing, and after Embiid dunked 7 minutes into the fourth, Philadelphia was up by 26 points!
The Raptors didn’t resemble the team who won Game 1 against the 76ers 108-95. The 76ers bounced back in Game 2, beating the home team at Scotiabank Arena 94-89. The Raptors won 3 out of 4 matches against Philly during the regular season.
Game 4 will be played on Sunday at Wells Fargo Centre, while the series will go back to Canada for Game 5 on Tuesday. The winner of this tie will face either the Boston Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals. After two games, the series is tied at 1-1.
On their road to the semis, the Raptors beat the Orlando Magic in five games, while the Philadelphia 76ers also took five games to eliminate the Brooklyn Nets. The last time the two teams played against each other in post-season, back in 2001, the 76ers won 4-3 in the series to move to the conference finals.
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