76ers, Raptors meet with series tied 1-1

Arnold Nichols
May 4, 2019

Toronto and Philadelphia are tied 1-1.

"Everybody wants to paint the picture that we haven't won here in how many years but I'm just glad that we came out on top", Butler said. Nurse said Sunday. "I mean, all the things we were doing were planning for this time of year". "We're not giving him any help".

Leonard continues to have one of the most efficient playoff runs of all-time, and he even gave the lifeless Raptors a shot to steal the win with a furious charge to end the third quarter before he needed a breather.

Embiid struck a chord when he buried a 3 in the third that stretched Philadelphia's lead to 12. That was start of a string of plays that got Toronto's attention.

Siakam clearly must have been frustrated because he stuck his leg out, tripping Embiid after the play.

Siakam was called for Flagrant 1 on the play.

All five of Philadelphia starters reached double digits, with Jimmy Butler continuing his hot scoring streak with 22 points.

Ennis and Butler each scored seven points in the second and Philadelphia led 51-38 at the half. Toronto trailed 61-60 with 2:50 left in the quarter but Embiid made four free throws before the quarter ended and the 76ers took a 69-63 lead to the fourth.

Hall of Famer Allen Iverson and rapper Meek Mill engaged in a lengthy embrace from the courtside seats and the Sixers are two wins away from their Eastern Conference final appearance since 2001. Simmons has been on Leonard (77 possessions) almost as many times as the rest of the Sixers combined (82). Toronto went 3-1 against Philly in the regular season, the Sixers' only victory coming against a lineup that didn't include Leonard. Everyone knows that the long-term home of Leonard - not to Danny Green and Gasol - is uncertain, but because Leonard has so consistently refused to humour inquiries about his future, that storyline has never been more than an undercurrent as the Raptors rolled through a comfortable season.

Leonard with the nice cut to the basket and the slam.

"When we let our defense dictate our offense we're such a great team", he said.

Pascal Siakam would add 20 points on a rough 7-of-15 night. Leonard, who is arguably the best two-way player in the National Basketball Association now, is a younger version of James who is still in his prime at age 27. There's no doubt that this season in Philadelphia is an all-out hunt for the NBA Finals, and brown could be one of the most important factors if they are going to advance to that far.

Embiid wore a black Process hoodie to the postgame press conference.

"We've got to help him", said Kyle Lowry, who has averaged 12.0 points and shot 2-for-14 from 3-point range in the series.

While Embiid was able to punish the Raptors from deep in this particular game, those are the types of shots Toronto will likely live him with taking.

Not in Game 3.

That was six got to help hims, by the way.

The franchise center's sweetest play came when he blocked Leonard's layup in the lane, hustled back and got the ball in his hands, and connected with Tobias Harris in the corner for a 3.

In addition to having the foot speed to pressure Leonard beyond the 3-point line, Simmons is nimble enough to navigate his way around screens and has the length to prevent Leonard from getting off a clean look from midrange, forcing someone else - Norman Powell in this case - to make a play.

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