The Sixers snap back and hand Toronto a loss to tie the series at one
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Raptors got off to a slow start and as much as they tried, they couldn't come back from it
Let's be real, this was not great basketball being played by Toronto tonight. Maybe it was the rain (because I know that's why I was feeling sluggish) or maybe it was the fact that Ben Simmons didn't stay at Cactus Club until 1:00 a.m the night before. More stars came out to watch the game including Drake alongside P.K Subban, Lindsey Vonn, and Mitch Marner. No Red Panda at halftime but there were a mini dog show. That's three games in a row for Drake. He must really want to put this whole curse thing to bed. Although, tonight didn't help his case. Kawhi would walk out if this game putting up another game-high. Even though Toronto lost this one, he will lead them to the finals. I am confident of that. You can see it in the way he plays- blocking shots, stealing balls, getting his own rebounds. He wants it.
Raps win the jump, but couldn't get the bucket to go. That is until the next possession when Lowry hit an off-balance shot. It was the battle of Cameroon in the corner when Embiid was defending Siakam. Siakam was too smooth for him as he shimmied, tricked and beat him to the basket for a beautiful left-handed finger roll. Philadelphia entered this game with fire. Embiid gets fouled by Leonard and heads to the line to hit both and then gets fouled by Ibaka plus the penalty and hits all four shots from the charity stripe. 76er’s take the first quarter, 26-17.
Philly kicked off the second quarter going on a 5-0 run and Toronto not scoring for three minutes. JJ Reddick and Jimmy Butler lead the team in points this far with 8 pts each. Philadelphia’s biggest lead at this point in the game was by 14 pts. Remember Greg Monroe? He played for the Raptors for a little bit. Well, he is now on the floor for Philly and usually comes on in the last quarter, but not this time. This time, he jumped on the court in the first! Monroe put up 10pts and 5 reb.
Coach Nick Nurse would receive a tech for saucy choice of words and Jimmy Butler would go and get the free bucket. Shortly after Green would pick up a technical with under two minutes to play in the first half. Butler would head back to the line and sink it. Philly is doing a good job of getting under the Raptors skin and in their heads as they end the half with their biggest lead of it, 51-38.
Coming back from the break, it seemed something sparked in the ancient reptiles as Kawhi throws down a one-handed jam and brings them within 8 pts with 8:46 to go. Pascal Siakam then shows off by draining a three-ball and then followed it with a smooth spinning layup. Raptors are within 4 pts.
There was some great bank movement late in the third resulting in Marc Gasol hitting a shot from behind the arc and getting his..well first 3 its of the game. He would only finish with 5 pts and 7 reb.
Ibaka checks in and guards Embiid instead of Gasol which I think is a smart move. Ibaka would pick up his fourth foul against Joel Embiid but it was a good one. He was playing aggressive and matched his style of play. Former Raptor Amir Johnson checks into the game and it was nice to see Toronto fans give him a round of applause. Canadians truly are just very kind. If you don't believe me, watch Sunday's episode of ’The Simpsons’.
Butler will get the steal and have Siakam foul him and unfortunately for Toronto fans, that would be his fifth foul of the game. To be honest with you though, it didn't matter much because he would just continue to score. Siakam hit a three pointer in front of the Toronto bench bringing them within 4 pts. Only to be silence by Jimmy ‘Buckets” who has had an outstanding game- much different than his game one. In game one he only contributed 10 pts going 4/12. Tonight he led the Sixers with 30 pts and 11 reb. A Sixers player who didn’t show up was Been, Simmons. He played forty-four minutes and only had 6 pts and 7rebs. Keep in mind how much that says about the rest of this Sixers squad and Embiid was ill!
Toronto will make their way down to the City of Brotherly Love and play game three Thursday with tip-off at 8:00 pm. Don’t worry about the time difference, because there is none! The series is now tied at one a piece and it was definitely a humbling game for Toronto. Philadelphia showed up all four quarters and Toronto, only the last two. Kyle had mentioned that they can't start a game like that again. What do you think?
Philadelphia 94-89 Toronto