Published: Mon, May 13, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Embiid returns to form for 76ers in 'do-or-die' win

Embiid returns to form for 76ers in 'do-or-die' win

Leonard paced the Raptors with 14 first-half points, but Toronto shot just 3 of 17 from beyond the 3-point arc before the break.

The Raptors advanced to the Eastern Conference final for the first time in franchise history with a convincing win over the visiting Heat.

When the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers meet in Game 7 of their second-round series Sunday night, it will be about more than just advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals.

"I play to win", Butler said. "He draws a lot of attention so for us we can make plays", Simmons said of Embiid.

In basketball, people always like to talk about how things players do does not show up on the scoresheet.

The 76ers came out hot, jumping out to a 13-5 lead out of the gate. It was only a one-point game after the opening quarter, but Toronto's 37-17 run in the second period took the life out of the Sixers.

Butler, disgruntled in Minnesota before he was traded to Philadelphia in November, scored 19 points in the half and all of them seemed worthy of the highlight reel. You can't dismiss the possibility of the Sixers making their first NBA Finals since 2001.

Philadelphia was allowed to build up its lead to as much as 24 points and were the aggressors all game.

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Embiid had a burst of energy late in the third when he blocked a driving Leonard, and Simmons capitalized with a basket for an 18-point cushion. He's hesitating less than before, but still too much.

With each team now clearly familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of their opposition, it sets the scene for a fascinating Game 7 - the first for the Sixers since 2012 when they fell to the Boston Celtics in the second round.

In Game 5, for example, Toronto kept Philadelphia to five offensive rebounds and scored 33 points in transition.

"He just stamped his authority, his skill package and his will - he was all over that game", said Brown, according to Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times.

"The mood in the locker room as we went through sort of an early shootaround - our version of shootaround - before, you could sense the serious side", Brown said. "I think we have to play one of our best defensive games of the year and play with some gusto on offence".

"It started from the beginning, coming in knowing that this was a do or die situation, so I knew that I had to come in with high spirits", Embiid said. "If I've got to play 45 minutes and push myself out there, that's what I'll do". "Do the little things, and everything's going to follow". He finished the game with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists and continues to provide Raptors fans with dunks worthy of being on a poster. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 31 points and 8.5 rebounds while Pascal Siakam is averaging 21.6 points and 6.9 rebounds. It's that the 76ers were able to take advantage of those misses - as well as the 12 turnovers they committed - by pushing the pace and attacking the Raptors while they were scrambled.

The Raptors were ice cold from the 3-point line in Game 6, missing 27 of their 36 attempts.

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