Kawhi Leonard was once again the crucial player for his team, leading the Raptors to an important 101-96 victory over the 76ers on Sunday at Wells Fargo Centre. With this huge away win, the Raptors have evened the Eastern Conference semi-final series, which will now return to Toronto.
Leonard is having a playoff series of his career, recorded a double-double, with 39 points and 14 rebounds. It’s enough to see his statistics in this series to realize how important is he for the Raptors. During these four games, Leonard scored a total of 152 points, with 62% shooting and with 38 points on average per game!
But even better news for the Raptors, apart from the win, is the fact that other players made a significant contribution: Marc Gasol scored 16 points, Kyle Lowry 14, Serge Ibaka had 12, while Danny Green scored 11.
Pascal Siakam started the match in Philly, although his injury affected his shooting, so he ended the game with only 9 points.
The home team was led by Jimmy Butler, who scored 29. J.J. Redick had 19, while Joel Embiid – who had a fantastic Game 3 on Thursday, managed to get just 10. It was later revealed that Embiid was feeling down the weather, but he still found the strength to help his teammates.
Raptors a Different Team from Game 3
After losing Game 3, the Raptors simply needed to win on Sunday. With two games in Toronto, the team has the opportunity to get to the finals, after missing out on it for the last two seasons in a row.
The Raptors were off to a flyer and even manage to go up by 11 in the first quarter, although the 76ers managed to cut this lead to only 3 by the end of the first 12 minutes. The home team played much better in the second, but they only succeed in further cutting the Raptors lead to 2 at the break.
20.639 home fans at Wells Fargo Centre saw their team take its first lead in the third quarter. They even managed to go up by 5 at one point, but then the Raptors responded with a 7-0 run, taking back the lead 4:15 before the end of the third.
The two teams entered the last 12 minutes with a result of 75-75 on the scoreboard. The fourth quarter was very exciting. The 76ers did take a 3-point lead, but the Raptors quickly made a comeback thanks to a 6-0 run. Philadelphia cut the lead to 1 point, 2:07 before the buzzer, but Leonard’s three-pointer clinched the victory for the Canadian team.
Game 5 will be played on Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
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