Joel Embiid makes Toronto cry, 76ers dominate the Raptors to take a 2-0 series lead
After a statement victory in Game 1, the 76ers took control of this game early and imposed themselves against Toronto. Joel Embiid had a dominant first quarter, then the rest of the Sixers piled on to take a 15-point lead going into halftime. Even with the constant complaining from the Raptors, the Sixers maintained control of this game and took a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, winning these first two games by a combined 35 points.
Joel Embiid Takes Over
After a quiet game in the first matchup, Embiid was determined to remind everyone he is still the best player in this series. Nick Nurse has started laying the foundation of getting the officials on his side, but the fact of the matter is that there is not a single player on the Raptors who can guard Joel Embiid. No amount of lobbying can change that Embiid will continue to get to the line based on how Toronto defends him. Based on his late exchange with Nick Nurse, it appears we are in for more of the same in Game Three and beyond.
Embiid got it done at the foul line (12/114) but also dominated every part of the floor on offense, shooting 9/16 on the night. After scoring 19 points in the first quarter, he fell into a lull but regained himself late in the game to close it out. It was only a matter of time until we got a tremendous Embiid performance these playoffs. If he stays locked in like this for the whole series, we can expect many more performances like tonight.
Tyrese Maxey Shines Again
Adding another incredible game to his playoff résumé, Tyrese Maxey was the second-leading scorer for Philadelphia with 23 points while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out eight assists. Maxey has been surgical in picking his spots, especially when Embiid is off the floor, and his production has been the difference in this series thus far.
There is no fear in his game. Maxey provides game-changing speed and has been lights out from beyond the arc, making 3/6 from deep tonight. The spark he brings is essential to the offense, and what he’s done so far has been nothing short of amazing for a second-year player.
Tobias Harris Stays Solid
This is arguably the best version of Tobias Harris that we have seen from him in a Sixers uniform, and it’s coming at the perfect time. He follows up a great performance in Game One with another 20 point game, staying highly efficient from the floor (7/11 FG) and playing solid defense on Pascal Siakam.
Harris’ has adapted his game to flourish on catch and shoot opportunities while maintaining some self creation offensively. He has been taking advantage of the attention that the other players garner and he’s been as good as we could ask for so far in this series.
Doc Rivers Gets His 100th Career Playoff Win
Despite the criticisms of Doc Rivers this season, which were warranted, he has done an excellent job through two games in this series. With tonight’s victory, Rivers nabs his historical 100th career playoff win, tying Larry Brown for fourth all-time in that category.
These two victories have been convincing, and many people have switched their stance on this series. But, as they say, the series isn’t over until you win a game on the road, and Philadelphia will have a chance to do that on Wednesday night. Important to remember that Matisse Thybulle will not be available for the next two games. Regardless the rest of the Sixers will look to close out the series on their trip to the Six.
Mandatory Credit: 6ABC