The Sixers hit the perfect shot. Never, Doc Rivers’ forces led to the score during the four quarters. But with the help of the Maxey-Harden-Embiid trio, they were able to hold on to extra time, then relied on the Cameroonian talent at the last minute to force the decision.
The Raptors had the best start, though, with better control of the game’s tempo, while the 3-pointer trio Trent Jr-Achiowa-Boucher moved the locals to +10 after 12 minutes of play. A scene from the Trigger Contest in a cadence that resonates more with the Sixers. But the locals’ overseas title, talent Pascal Siakam and Philly’s frequent missing balls allowed Toronto to maintain a 10-point gap at the break (56-46).
James Harden and Joel Embiid are back with other intentions after returning from the locker room. After dunking ‘Beard’ to reduce his team to -5 (62-57), it was the Cameroonian pivot who took the reins, ripping himself off scoring 18 points from his 28-point side in the third quarter – time to press the raptors (75-74) .
The latter somehow held the house and I think they did the hardest part when OG Anunoby scored 3 points on a ball directed by Fred Vanfleet and Precious Achewa in the offensive rebound once again giving the locals a 5 point lead. (95-90).
But Therese Maxi and James Harden did what was necessary to equalize. Then the precious Achewa caused Harden’s sixth foul but missed two throws behind him (95-95). And after two last failed attempts by Joel Embiid behind the arc and Tobias Harris under the circle, the two teams found themselves for five minutes of overtime.
In a high-stress finale, OG Anunoby and Tyrese Maxey put on a show of composure with a 3-point shot to the wing and two full touch baskets from the base. But the final word went to Joel Embiid who redeemed himself from a careless foul by scoring 3 points with 0.9 seconds in the Sixers’ last possession, giving the victory to Philly (101-104).
What to remember
– Joel Embiid’s Revenge. The tears of the Cameroonian at the end of the previous series between the two teams in 2019 are forgotten. The Sixers hub took its revenge by giving back to the Raptors in their room with a “claw” basket practically synonymous with qualifying as Toronto now finds itself 3-0 down. All was delicious when Philadelphia had to wait for extra time to advance the score for the first time in the game.
– With hair. At +5 less than two minutes left, the Raptors saw the match dodging them in detail. First there was this counter by OG Anunoby on James Harden which was finally calculated as a “target” for a few tenths of a second. The sequel damaged Nick Nurse’s forces just as much since three missing throws cost a lot of money in the final, two for Precious Achiuwa 27 seconds from the end of the final chapter and one for OG Anunoby who would have been the champ of the match without this genius punch from Joel Embiid. .
✅ Joel Embiid. The pivot on matches was illustrated by his accuracy and that was the case again tonight as he quickly found the thread after a slow start. His amazing third quarter put him back on track, and his last basket, which was most of his career in his own words, was the icing on the cake of his match of 33 points and 13 rebounds.
✅ Maxey-Harden’s husband. When Joel Embiid can count on assistants in such a form, it necessarily opens up more prospects for the Sixers. Even if Philly goes through a gap in the mouse, the team creators still do the job tonight with 19 points each and are a constant threat alongside their captain.
⛔ Pascal Siakam. The impeccable first-half author, the Raptors leader lost track during the second half, gradually fading off the radar to finish with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, or far from the expected performance for such a date.
⛔ Fred Vanfleet. The captain, returning from injury, played a lot in the first three games of the series. He also watered a lot, with 3/13 last night in line with his previous outings. It makes up for in other things but it’s also not up to the task at the moment.
Game 4 of the series will take place Friday starting at 2 a.m., with the Raptors already back at the wall for their second game in a row in front of their home crowd.