The Raptors are still running for a place in the top four in the East, demonstrating just how exceptional the drills Nick Norse’s forces have been. Still deprived of two tonight’s holders (Fred Vanfleet and OG Anunoby), Toronto showed enough heart about Pascal Siakam’s concert to oust Philadelphia in shock to the rhythms of the first round of the playoffs.
The Sixers started the game perfectly, relying on an exceptional overseas title, 7/8 behind the arc with Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris as the main shooters (17-30). Trouble is, the Raptors in turn caught fire from afar, this time with Gary Trent Jr. and Precious Ochiwa roaring the revolution, aided by a large defense.
After a 9-1 run at the end of the first quarter to get back to -5 (26-31), the locals took the lead with a new big pass from Precious Achewa and a 3+1 pass from Malachi Flynn (40-34). But Milton’s hot 3-point shot and Joel Embiid’s last basket put Philly back in the first half (56-60).
While the Sixers tried to escape on return from the locker room, reaching the 7-point limit, 3-pointers ahead of Danny Green (62-69), Toronto relied on particularly inspiring and attacking Pascal Siakam. He scored 15 points on 7/9 in the shooting period, and thus the Cameroonian put his people back in the saddle 12 minutes from the end (87-85).
On their way, the Raptors spotlight their target to go to +10 after the outer rockets of Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, and the two baskets in quick succession from Gary Trent Jr (99-89). With complete confidence, Precious Achiwa hit a new 3-point basket with the first intention after leading him to the head of the racket (102-92).
Philly refused to abdicate, between 7 consecutive points for Tyrese Maxey and Danny Green’s 3-point baskets to maintain the suspense (111-107). Pascal Siakam used two new awesome sequences, a finger roll after a massive trick on Joel Embiid and a 2+1 snatch after an offensive bounce to validate a triple double (118-111). At the Scotiabank Arena on fire, Toronto won 119-114!
What to remember
Cameroon wins! The showdown between Pascal Siakam and Joel Embiid was worth a turn, and it was finally within the Raptors that took over, which way! ‘Spice B’ would undoubtedly have had this last regular season encounter against his countryman and had sly pleasure in torturing him, at the end of the game in particular, with the culmination of this trick that sent Joel Embiid into the draw. Pascal Siakam may not have his Embiid aura in the NBA, but the 2019 champion proved in this showdown that he has almost nothing to envy on the Sixers’ pivot! From this ‘match within the match’, it was Cameroon that was undoubtedly the one who finally came out.
Danny Green ring. Nearly three years after the 2019 title, Danny Green has finally received the NBA championship ring. The Sixers goalkeeper received his possessions from Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam before the match. It was always a nice moment which had the advantage of boosting Danny Green, author of one of his best offensive matches of the season (18 points at 6/7 on 3 points).
✅ Pascal Siakam. What a game it is! The Cameroonian launched his hat-trick in five matches, which rewarded an exceptional performance as he carried his team through the storm in the third quarter and was decisive in the final to kill his rivals’ last hopes.
✅ Precious Ichiwa. What a splash of energy on both sides of the floor! The Raptors found themselves defending against top competitors, including James Harden, and distinguished themselves markedly by planting five 3-point baskets in seven attempts, the highest level of his career.
✅ Gary Trent Jr.. He was also invaluable in the final match with their leadership that fended off Philly’s menacing side almost to the end. In the process, his 3-pointer on top of the racket happily blasted the Scotiabank Arena. It’s 9And Match of the season 30 points or more.
⛔ James Harden. Another sad evening from him in an ugly 3/12 shooting attack. It’s getting more and more problematic since his young buddies set their positions. Despite his 15 assists and 13 points, Beard doesn’t really look in the game, as evidenced by his 3-point air ball and the ball he lost at the worst moment in Money Time.
Toronto (47-33): Back-to-back game against Houston tonight, before ending the regular season on the New York side on Sunday.
Philadelphia (49-31): The Sixers host Indiana on Saturday and continue with Detroit, still at home.