NBA – Basketball: The Raptors force a sixth game


The Toronto Raptors forced Game 6 by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 103-88 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The series will move to Toronto on Thursday.

The two teams were nearly neck and neck after the first 12 minutes of action as Toronto held just a narrow two-point lead early in the second quarter.

The Raptors then scored the first 12 points of the second quarter to build a 13-point lead after the first half. After conceding 27 points to Philadelphia early in the game, Nick Nurse’s squad tightened their defense leaving just 14 points to their rivals in the second quarter.

Philadelphia took a four-point lead from the Torontonians on the way back from the locker room, but like the second quarter, the Raptors adjusted their game in the final quarter to lead the score 28-22 en route to the final mark of 103 at 88.

Fred Van Vleet did not participate in the meeting, he who left match number 4 due to a strained left hip. In his absence, Pascal Siakam held the position of leader of the Toronto attack. He finished his night at work with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Precious Achiuwa, Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby were the other leading scorers with 17, 16 and 16 points respectively.

Guard James Harden scored the 76ers’ first four points, but was limited to 11 points afterward by hitting just two of nine shots from inside the arc. He recovered from the three-point line with five successes out of six attempts. Tobias Harris had 16 points, one more than James Harden. Danny Green had four 3-point shots en route to a 14-point night.

Unsurprisingly, Joel Embiid powered Philadelphia’s offense with 20 points and 11 rebounds. He has sometimes seemed short of energy and not very aggressive, he who is dealing with a torn ligament in his right thumb.

The NBA fined him $15,000 on Monday for criticizing officials after Game 4.

« It felt like they had a job to do and they did it, » said the NBA scoring champion. So, congratulations to them. »

In the first half, both clubs had less than 30% three-point success, but Philly had nine turnovers and Toronto had five.

No team in NBA history has rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. The Raptors are only the 14and team in 145 occasions to force a sixth game. Toronto will try to become the fourth team to force a seventh.

VanVleet, a heavy loss

Earlier Monday, it was revealed that VanVleet would miss the remainder of the series, suffering from a sprained left hip.

He averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 assists per game this season, making the All-Star Game for the first time. In the regular season, VanVleet and Siakam led the NBA with 37.9 minutes per game, on average.

The Raptors host the 76ers Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Game 6.

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