Embiid dominates as Sixers gore Raptors for 2-1 lead
MANILA, Philippines – Joel Embiid unleashed a career-high 33 points on top of 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers demolished the Toronto Raptors, 116-95, to take a 2-1 series lead in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday, May 2 (Friday, May 3, Manila time).
The Sixers’ wire-to-wire win saw all Philadelphia starters finishing in double figures as the Raptors couldn’t get it going even with Kawhi Leonard dropping 33 points.
Jimmy Butler flirted with a triple-double with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists and JJ Redick also scored 15 for the Sixers.
“I was just playing my game, not forcing anything,” said Embiid.
Philadelphia erected a double-digit lead early, and even if the Raptors managed to come close to 89-82, the Sixers responded with a crippling 21-2 outburst in the 4th quarter that widened the gap again to 110-84.
Embiid shot 9-of-18 from the field, including a 3-of-4 clip from beyond the arc, and tallied 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
But Sixers coach Brett Brown said that aside from Embiid’s scoring firepower, it was his defensive game that made all the difference.
“He’s our crown jewel defensively,” said Brown.
Tobias Harris added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists, while Ben Simmons scored 10 on top of 7 rebounds and 7 assists for the Sixers.
The Sixers will go for a commanding 3-1 lead in Game 4 still at their homecourt on Sunday. – Rappler.com